The 2006 Taipei Lantern Festival will make Taipei city "a shining city of friendship" that mixes tradition and modern culture, Deputy Mayor of Taipei King Pu-tsung (金溥聰) and Sun Tsui-feng, a Taiwanese opera diva, said yesterday at a news conference as the Chinese Lunar New Year draws near.
Lantern exhibitions and cultural activities have become an annual extravaganza in Taipei City and draw large numbers of visitors from near and far. This year's event will take place February 11-19 at the Chang Kai-shek Memorial Hall plaza.
A stylish dresser who performs traditional Taiwanese opera, Sun Tsui-feng said she shares the same characteristics as Taipei City - a mixture of tradition and modernism, a combination of primitive passion and diverse cultures. "I assume that's why I was invited to endorse the event for the second straight year," she said.
"That a lot of visitors come because of me is probably one of the other reasons," she said half-jokingly.
According to the Chinese zodiac, 2006 is the Year of the Dog, and this year's lantern festival will be launched on the opening night with a theme story of a boy and his puppy Wan-Wan starting an adventure in multi-faceted Taipei to look for Wan-Wan's missing sister named Fu-Fu.
King Pu-tsung encouraged people across Taiwan as well as foreign friends to join the annual pageantry that receives considerable international attention.
In addition to various lanterns to be displayed at the plaza, visitors will have a chance to embrace different music every night during the week of the Lantern Festival: traditional operas, international dance, jazz, folk songs, classical and rock 'n' roll.
The Lantern Festival will kick-off a week after the Chinese Lunar New Year vacation, running from January 28 to February 3.