Arts and Culture

In photos: Taiwan's Lantern Festival comes to Tainan

Kathleen A. Llemit - Philstar.com
In photos: Taiwan's Lantern Festival comes to Tainan
The main lantern called 'Dragon Comes to Taiwan' drew awe with its height of 18 meters, and a total height of 22 meters, including the base at the ongoing Taiwan Lantern Festival in host city Tainan from February 24 to March 10, 2024.
Philstar.com / Kathleen A. Llemit

TAINAN, Taiwan — The chilly, crisp night air did not stop throngs of people trooping to the ICC Tainan grounds on the night of February 24 as they headed toward a sea of lights that beckoned them to its fold. 

As they walked in an orderly manner toward the festival ground, it dawns on the spectator, especially foreign tourists, why families with parents and their children have converged to the former ancient capital of Taiwan on the 15th day of the Lunar New Year. 

The Taiwan Lantern Festival comes to Tainan 16 years after its last hosting of the highly anticipated Lunar New Year activity in 2008. 

Dr. Chou Yung-hui, Director General of Taiwan Adminstration, Ministry of Transportation and Communications, and Lin Kuo-hua, Director General of Tainan City Government Tourism Bureau, told the international media covering the festival that this year's Lantern Festival features over 300 lanterns designed and produced in Taiwan and other countries such as Japan and Indonesia. 

Over 300 artworks, including life-size installations and lights shows, are strategically located in festival grounds. There are also over 170 performances in the 16-day festival, running from February 24 to March 10. 

The festival has two major exhition areas, the "High-Speed Rail Lantern Area" and the "Anping Lantern Area," showcasing over 300 lantern art pieces. 

The "High- Speed Rail Lantern Area" is composed of seven large exhibition zones around the high-speed rail station, displaying various-themed lantern areas in addition to the main lantern "Dragon Comes to Taiwan." 

Dragon brings happiness

Undoubtedly the star of the opening of the festival, the main lantern called "Dragon Comes to Taiwan" drew awe with its height of 18 meters, and a total height of 22 meters including the base. It was positioned with its mouth facing the moon. 

Every year, the main lantern gives an ode to the Chinese Zodiac, with this year touted as the Year of the Wood Dragon. The Chinese believes the dragon gives a sense of happiness. 

Designed and produced by renowned artist Peng Li-chen, the dragon features an overall rotational motion with its left and right forearms incorporating electromechanical control components. As Tainan is known for its solar energy photovoltaic industry, the main dragon lantern incorporates solar energy materials such as EVA and sustainable green elements like carbon 60, embodying the lantern festival's commitment to sustainable development.

The "Anping Lantern Area" is located in Lin Mo Niang Park, Anping Recreational Wharf, and along the Anping Canal, with the themes "Tainan 400" and "River of Light History."

The Lantern Festival is celebrated on the 15th day of the lunar calendar. Also known as "Little New Year," the festival sees residents enjoying fireworks, carrying lanterns and visiting temples. Held throughout Taiwan, the annual festival symbolizes national peace and prosperity, fostering a scene of unity and joy. 

International independent tourists who visit the 2024 Taiwan Lantern Festival until March 10, daily from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. can present their passports or relevant entry proofs at the lantern festival's on-site redemption center. They will receive a complimentary 2024 Year of the Dragon lantern, a limited-edition souvenir, and an event ticket (valid for watching the main lantern area performance from February 25 to March 9). Each person is entitled to one redemption, while supplies last.




Editor's note: The tour to Taiwan was hosted by Taiwan Tourism Administration to promote tourism in the area. At no stage does the host organization have a say on the stories generated from the coverage, interviews conducted, publication date and story treatment. Content is produced solely by Philstar.com following editorial guidelines.

RELATED: WATCH: Hundreds of lanterns take flight at Mid-Autumn Lantern Festival

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