"fang4huo3" means "to set ... on fire, to commit arson". According to Chinese tradition, it is not respectful to call the parents or other older relatives by their names.
It's one of the customs to make and light up lanterns during the Spring Festival to celebrate the Chinese New Year. On the fifteenth day of the New Year (also called the Lantern Festival (yuan2xiao1jie2)), the celebration reaches the climax. There is a lantern show in every neighborhood. Families come out to admire the lanterns of all shapes and to get prizes for guessing the riddles pasted to lanterns.
很久以前有一个地方官，他的名字叫田登， 可是他不许别人叫他的名字。他觉得别人叫他的名字就是对他不尊敬。 因为他的名字“登”和“灯”念起来一样，所以大家都不能说“灯”， 只能说“火”， 也不能说“点灯”，因为“点灯”听起来好像他的名字“田登”， 只能说“放火”。
元宵节的时候，家家户户都要点灯，田登就通知大家“要放火三日庆祝”。因为他是那个地方最大的官， 所以老百姓都没有办法。 大家生气地说： “只许当官的放火，不许百姓点灯！”
hen3jiu3 yi3qian2 you3 yi2ge4 di4fang1guan1, ta1de ming2zi4 jiao4 tian2deng1, ke3shi4 ta1 bu4xu3 bie2ren2 jiao4 ta1de ming2zi4. ta1 jue2de bie2ren2 jiao4 ta1de ming2zi4 jiu4shi4 dui4 ta1de bu4 zun1jing4. yin1wei4 ta1de ming2zi4 "deng1" he2 "deng1" nian4 qi3lai2 yi2yang4, suo3yi3 da4jia1 dou1 bu4neng2 shuo1 "deng1", zhi3neng2 shuo1 "huo3", ye3 bu4neng2 shuo1 "dian3deng1", yin1wei4 "dian3deng1 " ting1qi3lai2 hao3xiang4 ta1de ming2zi4 "tian2deng1", zhi3neng2 shuo1 "fang4huo3".
yuan2xiao1jie2 deshi2hou4, jia1jia1hu4hu4 dou1 yao4 dian3deng1, tian2deng1 jiu4 tong1zhi1 da4jia1 "yao4 fang4huo3 san1ri4 qing4zhu4". yin1wei4 ta1 shi4 na4ge4 di4fang1 zui4da4de guan1, suo3yi3 lao3bai3xing4 dou1 mei2you3 ban4fa3. da4jia1 sheng1qi4de shuo1: "zhi3xu3 dang1guan1de fang4huo3, bu4xu3 bai3xing4 dian3deng1!"
Long long time ago there was a local government official called Tian Deng. However, he didn't allow the others to call him by his names because he thought it was not respectful to him if his named was called. Since his first name "deng" sounds the same as "deng"( lights), so people were not allowed to say "lights", and could only say "fire" instead. Neither were they allowed to say "to light up lights", because "dian deng( to light up lights)" sounds similar to his full name "tian deng". Instead they could only say "set fire".
When it was time of the Lantern Festival, all the families would light up the lanterns. So Tian Deng made an announcement that " everybody should celebrate by setting fires for three days." Because he was the highest local official, the people could do anything about that. They commented angrily: "The officials are allowed to set fires, while the people are forbidden to light up lights!"