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Bright Lights: Taiwan Lantern Festival

Taiwan Lantern Festival3

With the start of March, the Chinese New Year comes to an end. The 15 day celebration doesn’t disappoint by ending in the brightest way possible. Welcome to the Taiwan Lantern Festival.

The 15 day of the Chinese New Year is celebrated by releasing between 100,00 to 200,00 paper lanterns into the night sky. The Taiwan Lantern Festival is known around the globe and is even recommended by U.S. Discover Channel as one of the world’s best festivals. This year the 2015 Taiwan Lantern Festival is being held on March 5 in Taichung City.

Taiwan Lantern Festival2
Pingxi Sky Lantern Festival 2014 in Taiwan. Photo by Jirka Matousek

While the Lantern Festival is being held in Taichung, spectators can watch the lanterns in three
different locations. Taichung Station Area, Taichung Park, and Fengyuan District will all be hosting the lantern send off. Each area will have lanterns decorated to a specific theme correlated with the culture and history of Taichung.

            This tradition began as a signal to let refugees know that it was safe to return to their town. Now those who send a lantern into the sky will write down their aspirations or goals in life. This action is also known, more common among locals, as Kongming Lanterns. This is when people write down their concerns, hopes, and prayers and release them to the gods to be answered.

Screen Shot 2015-03-03 at 8.29.33 PMThough the main festival is being held in Taichung, there are nine other cities in Taiwan that are releasing lanterns as well. The next city that is also known for its lantern festival is New Taipei City. New Taipei City is host to the Pingxi Sky Lantern Festival.

With thousands of lanterns floating into the sky The Taiwan Lantern Festival is not only a sight of beauty, but one of romance as well.

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3 comments

  1. I have always dreamed of participating in this cultural tradition! I have never experienced anything like it and believe it to be a truly releasing feeling as you let go of the lantern and watch it drift away! I will have to remember next March to make my way to China in order to participate in this awe-inspiring moment or maybe I can just do it at home with my closet friends! Pinterest makes it pretty easy to achieve! This site allows people to create their own Chinese Lantern: https://sites.google.com/site/toymonk5/funamazing/diy/how-to-make-a-flying-lantern–chinese-culture

    1. Thanks for the added link! I’ll definitely have to try making these at home and see how they turn out.

  2. I think this is incredibly fascinating to read about! It has definitely been an interest of mine to watch and hopefully one day participate in this tradition! Being able to read and learn so much about a significant part of the Chinese culture is great! This article was nicely written and provided a lot of information in a clean, easy to read way!

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