TAIPEI (Taiwan News) -- Crowned “Best Winter Trips” by National Geographic, “14 Festivals to Attend Before You Die” by Fodor’s, and “52 Things To Do” by CNN, the Pingxi Sky Lantern Festival in Pingxi is definitely not an event to miss, and the 2018 edition did not disappoint.
This year's Pingxi Sky Lantern Festival coincided with the traditional Lantern Festival (元宵節, yuanxiao jie), which falls on the first full moon of the lunar new year.
Apart from the usual running bus services, the government this year also catered additional shuttle bus services running from Taipei Zoo, Ruifang Railway Station, and Keelung Railway Station. The buses took off every 5 to 10 minutes, and the crowd control was efficient. I took the shuttle bus service that ran from Taipei Zoo, and the journey set me back by only NT$50. It was a very smooth journey lasting no more than 45 minutes.
Apart from the usual running bus services, the government has also catered additional shuttle bus services running from Taipei Zoo, Ruifang Railway Station, and Keelung Railway Station. Buses took off every 5 to 10 minutes, and the crowd control was efficient. The journey from Taipei Zoo costs 50NTD and took no more than 45 minutes. Traffic controls were situated along the roads of Wenshan District.
As expected, Pingxi was beaming with people. Taiwanese and tourists flood the space with their laughter, smile and friendliness.
The walk to the parade square from the bus stop took 20 minutes. En route, there are numerous street vendors selling souvenirs, food, beverages and of course, sky lanterns. Despite the large crowd, everything was kept in order by the huge dispatch of police.
Having a pork bun while strolling to the parade square was a perfect idea.
Every now and then, there will be sky lanterns released. Having a full moon as backdrop was only but impeccable.
However, it was not all perfect. There were several times where the sky lanterns dropped from the sky on the street vendors, street wires, and even almost on the crowd.
The sky lanterns with the full moon as backdrop.
The parade square was bustling with people. However, it was a very orderly and organized affair. There were invited singers and the hosts were hosting in Mandarin, dialect language, and English.
A fireman standing on top of a fire truck, overlooking the crowd for any potential danger. He also had to run to get any falling sky lantern should they fall on the crowd.
When the hosts prepared the crowd for the next batch of release, the atmosphere was electric.
The crowd at the parade square finally dispersed after the last batch of lantern release. A total of 1,200 sky lanterns were released that night.