Taiwan Lantern Festival
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The Taiwan Lantern Festival (Chinese: 臺灣燈會; pinyin: Táiwān dēnghuì) is an annual event hosted by the Tourism Bureau of the Ministry of Transportation and Communications in Taiwan to celebrate the Lantern Festival.
There are many activities all over Taiwan during Taiwan Lantern Festival. During the Taiwan Lantern Festival, thousands of sky lanterns light over Pingxi District (平溪) in Taiwan. In Yanshui District, the firecrackers ceremony of Wumiao Temple is also one of the important activities.. The Tainan Yanshui Fireworks Display ("beehive of fireworks") was originally celebrated to ward off evil and disease from the town. The Taipei Pingxi Sky Lanterns were released originally to let others know that the town was safe. These lanterns are decorated with wishes and images relating to the owner. These two events are known together as "Fireworks in the South, Sky Lanterns in the North."
Starting from 1990, the Tourism Bureau integrated civilian and local governmental resources to conduct the event to celebrate the Lantern Festival (fifteenth day of the first month in the lunar calendar) and the end of the Chinese New Year. The purpose of the festival is to spread the traditional folklore. It is also known as the Yuan Xiao Festival.
The firecrackers ceremony of the Wumiao Temple in Yanshui District was held by ancient people, in order to show respect for the exploits of Guan Yu. Fengpao is the ceremony to start to burn thousands of soaring firecrackers hung on a five to twenty-five meters high wooden stand. This ceremony starts from six o'clock in the afternoon until five o'clock in the morning. Thousands of people and visitors attend the ceremony.
The American Discovery Channel's program "Fantastic Festivals of the World" has highlighted the Taiwan Lantern Festival as one of the best festivals in the world.
Time and Locations
- 1990: February 10~12, Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall, Taipei City.
- 1991: March 1~3, Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall, Taipei City.
- 1992: February 12~18, Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall, Taipei City.
- 1993: February 6~8, Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall, Taipei City.
- 1994: February 24~27, Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall, Taipei City.
- 1995: February 14~16, Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall, Taipei City.
- 1996: March 4~6, Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall, Taipei City.
- 1997: February 21~23, Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall, Taipei City.
- 1998: February 11~15, Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall, Taipei City.
- 1999: March 2~7, Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall, Taipei City.
- 2000: February 19~27, Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall, Taipei City.
- 2001: February 7~14, Love River, Kaohsiung City.
- 2002: February 26~March 3, Love River, Kaohsiung City.
- 2003: February 15~23, Taichung Park and Jingguo Blvd., Taichung City.
- 2004: February 5~15, Banqiao City, Taipei County (Now is Banqiao District, New Taipei City).
- 2005: February 23~March 6, Anping Coastal History Park, Tainan City.
- 2006: February 12~26, Anping Coastal History Park, Tainan City.
- 2007: March 3~11, Taibao City, Chiayi County.
- 2008: February 21~March 2, Southern Taiwan Science Park, Tainan County (Now is merged into Tainan City).
- 2009: February 9~22, Yilan Sports Park, Yilan City, Yilan County.
- 2010: February 28~March 7, Chiayi Park, Chiayi City.
- 2011: February 17~28, Zhunan and Toufen Sports Park, Miaoli County.
- 2012: February 6~19, Lukang Township, Changhua County.
- 2013: February 24~March 10, THSR Hsinchu Station, Zhubei City, Hsinchu County.
- 2014: February 14~23, Zhongxing New Village, Nantou County.
- 2015: March 5~15, THSR Taichung Station, Taichung Park and Fengyuan District, Taichung City.
- 2016: February 22~March 6, THSR Taoyuan Station, Taoyuan City.
- 2017: February 11~February19, THSR Yunlin Station, Yunlin County.
The theme of the main lanterns often corresponds with the zodiac signs of Chinese astrology. All of them are over ten meters tall. Since 1999, every main lantern has its own theme music which is about 3 minutes in length and plays the rhythm when making performances during Taiwan Lantern Festival.
The smaller lanterns, often carried by children or placed on temples, show images of historical figures, birds, or images from that year's theme.
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The lanterns depict images such as historical figures, birds, or of the theme determined each year.