TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — The annual New Taipei Lantern Festival kicked off at the New Taipei Metropolitan Park in Sanchong District on Friday (Feb. 7), attracting thousands of spectators to witness the specially designed illuminative artworks.
Led by New Taipei City Mayor Hou Yu-ih (侯友宜), the organizers celebrated the event opening with a 97-second light show. Representatives from the Japanese city of Aomori were present, and Taiwanese dance groups the Rakuten Girls and the Luxy Boyz electrified the venue with their performances.
Hou told the media that the New Taipei Lantern Festival attracts millions of visitors every year and that high-quality preventive measures will be implemented throughout the 24-day celebration to preclude the spread of the coronavirus. He hopes that the recent viral outbreak will not affect Taiwanese citizens’ desire to visit and that festivalgoers will not hesitate to try out different games and food stands.
The director of New Taipei City Department of Civil Affairs, Ko Ching-chung (柯慶忠), pointed out that popular Taiwanese landmarks, including the Wulai Waterfall, Pingxi Old Street, Tamsui Fisherman's Wharf, and Hong Lu Di Temple, were integrated into this year's art installations. He also highlighted a path decorated with giant sunflower lanterns and in-class art designs by middle and high school students, reported the Liberty Times.
The most eye-catching design at the venue, however, is a wall of nine dragon lanterns that move their bodies when lit up. The wall was donated as a gift to the city government by the Xianse Buddhist Temple.
The New Taipei Lantern Festival will run from Feb. 7–March 1, and visitors can reach the venue via the Taipei MRT. For more information about the 2020 New Taipei Lantern Festival, visit the event's official website.
Mice are the theme of this year's festival. (Facebook photo)
Hou Yu-yi attends the opening ceremony Feb. 7. (CNA photo)
Decorative lanterns made by New Taipei students. (Facebook photo)