Staff members inside the Olympic bubble find new ways to celebrate the Lantern Festival

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BEIJING (KXAN) — Tuesday marks the start of China’s traditional Lantern Festival, which represents the end of the Chinese New Year.

It’s a sacred celebration that closed-loop Chinese citizens cannot celebrate as they normally would with their families because of COVID-19 protocols that require them to stay inside the bubble.

So they carry on the tradition a little differently.

The Dining Hall is the starting point for the Lantern Festival activities. Once you walk in, you get a paper, and that’s where the fun and the search for a Chinese lantern begins.

“It’s just a wish for our future life,” said a volunteer. “We hope we will have a happy family.”

The festival would normally take place with loved ones, under a cloud of red lanterns honoring deceased loved ones. But instead, Chinese bubble workers and volunteers solve puzzles laid out on dining room tables. After finding the answer, he leads them to a lantern.

It’s a small token that makes a big difference for those temporarily isolated during the Games.

“It is a very good reflection of the reunion and friendship of the Lantern Festival. It is also a reflection of the Olympic spirit,” the International Olympic Committee said at a press conference.

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