Taiwan (Taiwan News) -- Lantern Festivals are actually one of Taiwan's tourism highlights and happens to be on the bucket list for many international travelers around the globe. A festival that is based on lights, lanterns and loads of firecrackers! The Pingxi Sky Lantern Festival is such an amazing festive destination that it even made it to the list of 10 Best Winter Trips released by National Geographic.
I absolutely love these incredible light displays. Yes, it is magical and so much so that it is worth traveling to the other side of the world to, in order to experience one.
We have seen quite a few lantern displays on our travels. Some of those were private and some of them were designed for the masses, however not one of them have been like this one.
Taiwan Lantern Festival (Yuan Hsiao Chieh)
What is the Taiwan Lantern Festival About?
The Taiwan Lantern Festival is one of the most famous tourist attractions in Taiwan. This festival is known in Mandarin as "Yuan Hsiao Chieh" (元宵節). It is one of the more spectacular spectacles in the country and celebrates the last day of the Lunar New Year.
Yuan Hsiao Chieh is centered around festivities such as lantern making, lantern riddle games, light shows, and lantern parades, together with a beautiful display of decorative lanterns. What an opportunity to learn the ancient art of lantern making and to be able to share it with your family, priceless.
If that doesn't attract you by itself, then you should close this page and read our next post of "10 reasons why you should've seen the lantern festival!" Haha… OK, just joking! Please stay and read on.
The Magic show of lights during Yuan Hsiao Chieh will brighten up the grumpiest of moods. And for those with a curious appetite for Taiwan cuisine; like us; you can finally enjoy and indulge in the traditional festival food. Among all the goodies on offer you will find: tangyuan (湯圓), also called yuanhsiao (元宵), which are rice dumplings with either a sweet or savory stuffing.
Every year the festival is centered around a theme that is based on the zodiac of the year! Last year, in 2016 the festival was based on the Year of the Monkey. The main lantern depicted a "Golden Monkey Offering Peaches."
What does Taiwan have in store for us for the next year (2017)? Yes! It is the Year of the Rooster. It is going to be another amazing and extraordinary spectacle! Make sure to plan your trip around the festival times and scout out the gigantic main rooster lantern in the Yunlin County.
When is the Lantern Festival?
The Taiwan Lantern Festival is celebrated on the first full moon of the Chinese New Year. In 2017, the Taiwan Lantern Festival runs from February 11th to 19th.
Where will the Lantern Festival be held in 2017?
The Lantern Festival is held in different geographical locations each and every year. In 2017, the festival will be held in Yunlin County between the THSR Yunlin Station and the Agricultural Expo Ecological Park.
Pingxi Sky Lantern Festival
The Pingxi lantern festival (平溪天燈節) is all about the act of releasing the lanterns into the night sky. Thousands of floating lights illuminate the night sky, thus creating new constellation-like effect with the masses of man-made stars!
And there are thousands of lanterns being released. Many people flock from across Taiwan to take part in celebrating the Pingxi Sky Lantern Festival. This festival runs concurrently with the main Lantern Festival. If you cannot make it to Yunlin County, you can still spend some quality lantern gazing time in Taiwan's other counties.
Ping Xi is one of, or should I say, the best spot for viewing the lanterns. Here you will witness hundreds or even thousands of glowing floating sky lanterns being released at the same time. This is something that you cannot miss out on!
When will the Pingxi Sky Lantern Festival be held in 2017?
Pingxi (平溪) will host its event from February 11 to 19 this year. There will be a second Sky Lantern Festival on October 4 to celebrate the Mid-Autumn Festival. On February 11th starting at 10 am, free lantern releasing tickets will be handed out. Lanterns will be released at 6 and 7 pm on the February 11.
Fill your life with light! Here, you will not only release illuminated lantern into the starry sky. You will let go of all your stresses and worries of the everyday life. Here you will find a true meaning of unity, love for all with a power of light! See you all there!
By Jolene from the Wanderlust Storytellers
All photos have been provided by the Taiwan Tourism Bureau.