The Tourism Bureau has been holding the Taiwan Lantern Festival for years to attract visitors and raise the international profile of the cultural attractions of Taiwan. Traditionally, the festival has been celebrated by carrying hand lanterns. The Taiwan Lantern Festival adds a high-tech touch to this traditional custom and brings the event to the international stage. From the theme lantern displays to folk arts and performances, the festival has become a favorite of both locals and foreign visitors.
Taiwan Lantern Festival
Colorful lanterns of all sizes and shapes have always been the main feature of the Lantern Festival, which is celebrated with a grand national festival and major festival in Taipei and Kaohsiung.
The Taipei Lantern Festival is held for several days at the Taipei Expo Park, reaching its peak on the day of the Lantern Festival itself. There are many traditional lanterns, electromechanical lantern displays, and large themed lanterns sponsored and designed by different companies.
The Kaohsiung Lantern Festival is held along the Love River. During the festival period, both sides of the river as well as Wufu Rd., Heping Rd., Guangzhou St., and other thoroughfares have lantern exhibitions. There are also musical performances, helping to throw the whole city into a festive mood.
The Pingxi Sky Lantern Festival is one of the most colorful activities of the Lantern Festival. Pingxi is a remote hillside town. In the past, those who worked or farmed in the mountains faced the risk of being robbed or killed, and they used lanterns to inform their families they were safe. The lanterns do not function as signals anymore, but are now used as symbols of peace and good fortune.
The fireworks display at the God of War Temple in Yanshui, Tainan City, is one of the most popular and anticipated events of the Lantern Festival.
The display starts one day before the Lantern Festival, when the deity tours the town in his sedan chair, accompanied by the discharge of firecrackers and bottle rockets. The noise, lights, and rituals that follow the god continue well into the following morning.
Pingxi (Pingsi) Sky Lantern Festival
The Lantern Festival is celebrated on the 15th day of the first month of the Chinese lunar calendar with a series of activities throughout Taiwan. Among the highlight events at this time is the inspection tour of the deity Master Han Dan in Taitung City. As guardian of the celestial treasury, Master Han Dan is revered today as a God of wealth, but people believe that he was once a real person named Zhao Gong-ming. When the Master Han Dan makes his annual inspection tour of the earthly world, crowds turn out to pray for his blessing and for good fortune. On the day of the festival, Master Han Dan is joined on his tour of the community by gods from, other temples in Taitung and surrounding townships. Households along the route of the divine procession prepare offerings of fresh flowers and fruit, and light strings of firecrackers to welcome the Master Han Dan. The person representing the Master Han Dan on the tour wears only a headscarf, mask and pair of red short. He stands courageously amid the fusillade of firecrackers, protected only by a tree branch. There are several stories as to why the people throw firecrackers at Master Han Dan. In one version, Master Han Dan is the god of hooligans and his power grows with the loudness of the explosions. A less widely accepted explanation is that Master Han Dan is afraid of the cold, so the people throw firecrackers at him to keep him warm and win his blessing.
Bombing of Master Han Dan
Integrates religious, cultural, sporting, and other events that display Taiwanese artistry and innovation: Time for Taiwan-Taiwan Tourism Evets Website