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Lantern festival to celebrate opening of NPM southern branch

Lantern festival to celebrate opening of NPM southern branch

A lantern festival that lasts 66 days will kick off Dec. 19 in Chiayi County to celebrate the trial opening of the National Palace Museum (NPM)'s Southern Branch in the county on Dec. 28.

The festival will take place in front of the Chiayi County government and along the nearby Taizi Boulevard, which leads to the museum, a branch of the world-famous museum in Taipei.

The festival will showcase lanterns with themes such as agriculture, religion, environment and creativity, according to the county government.

A 10-minute 3-D light show, designed by Singapore's Hexogon Solution, will blend Christmas themes with unique Chiayi cultural elements. In addition to lantern displays, the festival will also feature firework shows on Dec. 19 and 27, as well as music, dance, theater and magic performances on Dec. 19 and 20 and from 24-27.

Billed as a "museum of Asian art and culture," the 70-hectare Southern Branch will collect, research, preserve and exhibit artifacts and relics from across Asia. The exterior of the museum bears images of dragons, elephants and horses that represent ancient Chinese, Indian and Persian civilizations, respectively.

To celebrate the trial opening, free admission will be allowed for all visitors from Dec. 29 to March 31, 2016 and for visitors from Chiayi, Yunlin and Tainan from April 1 to June 30 next year.

The NPM's most popular item -- the Jadeite Cabbage with Insects -- will be exhibited at the southern branch from Dec. 28 this year to Oct. 2, 2016. Another popular artifact, the "Meat-shaped Stone," will also be displayed at the branch from Oct. 4, 2016.

The Taiwan High Speed Rail Corp. will offer a one-day tour package, which includes return tickets from Taipei to Chiayi, a museum ticket and a guided tour of the new museum. (By Huang Kuo-fang and Christie Chen)

Updated : 2021-09-29 10:33 GMT+08:00