Taiwan Lantern Festival

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2017/02/11 - 2017/02/19

The Lantern Festival, which falls on the 15th day of the first lunar month, draws the curtain of the New Year celebration. Traditionally, every household celebrates this day and make it a “flamboyant Yuanxiao,” by setting off firecrackers and fireworks of seven colors and hanging out on the streets at night with lanterns and torches in their hands. Amid fanfare, people pray for a prosperous and peaceful year, while making a new, auspicious start through eating sweet rice-ball soup.

In the past years, lantern displays were held in Guandu Temple of Beitou, Ciyou Temple of Songshan, and Qingshan and Longshan Temples of Wanhua in Taipei during lantern festival time. People had to go to multiple temples to appreciate all of the lanterns, however. In September 1989, Minister of Transport and Communications Chang Chien-pang at the time asked director-general of the Tourism Bureau Mao Chi-kuo to design an all-in-one festival so that people would not have to run from one temple to another. Mao stressed that “while lanterns used to be displayed in various temples for the lantern fest, they should be shown in one single place from now on for people’s convenience.”

Hence, the Tourism Bureau came up with the Taiwan Lantern Festival which aims at sharing long-time Yuanxiao fun with even more people. Because Taiwan lacked large-scale tourist activities at the time, TLF was expected to garner presence for Taiwan in the world, just like the Oktoberfest of Munich, the Sapporo Snow Festival, and the Carnival of Brazil that draw visitors from all parts of the globe. Since then, the lantern fest has remained a much anticipated New Year event for the people of Taiwan, and it has truly created much happy memory for all. 28 years have passed since the Tourism Bureau held the festival for the first time in 1990. Each year the festival is featured by one giant Chinese zodiac animal lantern, in addition to supporting lantern areas such as blessing and joyful lantern areas. On the opening day, performing groups from at home and abroad gather up to give a show.

The “2017 Taiwan Lantern Festival in Yunlin – Ji Ming Yun Yang” comprises two major lantern areas, Huwei and Beigang, respectively located in the zone between THSR Yunlin Station and Yunlin County Agricultural Expo Ecological Park and Beigang Township. “Friendliness to the Earth,” “cultural diversity” and “indigenous Yunlin” being its three main themes, the festival is augmented by six more sub-themes, “LOHAS Sustainability,” “Our Hometown,” “Puppetry,” “Artistic Attic,” “Religious Blessings” and “Beautiful Handicrafts” to show Yunlin’s unique natural ecology, green technology, ethnic diversity, folk culture, traditional crafts and religious beliefs. It is hoped that, by combining traditional art with modern technology, plus green-energy and sustainability ideas, this year’s festival can manifest Yunlin’s best features to the world’s visitors.

“Ji” in “Ji Ming Yun Yang” refers to auspiciousness for the year to come. “Ji” can also represent diligence because roosters (pronounced as “Ji” in Mandarin, too) get up early. In fact, Yunlin people are diligent – they always work hard to gain a good harvest. Together, “Ji” and “Ming” means “the crowing of a rooster,” showing that Yunlin people get up as soon as a rooster crows and then start a new day of work. “Yun Yang” suggests that Yunlin people all stride towards a bright future. Inspired by Yunlin’s historical culture, the 2017 Taiwan Lantern Festival is expected to be a creative one. The Yunlin County Government welcomes all to visit this year’s town of lanterns – Yunlin, with their family and friends. The festival will be held between February 11 and 19, 2017 as Taiwan’s largest lantern fest.
International
Huwei Main Lantern Area   Between THSR Yunlin Station and Yunlin County Agricultural Expo Ecological ParkYunlin County Huwei TownshipMap
Beigang Lantern Area   Between Zhongshan Street and Tourist BridgeYunlin County Beigang TownshipMap
Tourism Bureau,Yunlin City Government
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