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Pinghsi festival to be considered for UNESCO cultural heritage status

Pinghsi festival to be considered for UNESCO cultural heritage status

Taipei County said yesterday it will ask the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) directly to list the Pinghsi Sky Lantern Festival as World Cultural Heritage.
The sky lanterns were originally released into the air by residents of the mountain village to let relatives in other areas know they had arrived safely. The annual event features lanterns decorated with the names of the owners and with colorful pictures and verses.
The county's move follows a rejection by the central government's Cultural Affairs Commission, which reasoned that since Taiwan is not a member of the United Nations, it cannot apply to UNESCO.
The county government was drawing up an English-language application document which it would send to UNESCO early next year, said Li Pin, the director of Taipei County's Department of Cultural Affairs.
Since Taiwan is not an official member of the world body, the county would use the name of "Taipei County Government, Republic of China" for its application, Li said.
Traditional characters
The county would also work in tandem with the central government's support for an international campaign to have the original Chinese characters used in Taiwan and Hong Kong listed as part of World Cultural Heritage.
Li said the county also planned to invite representatives from UNESCO to the next edition of the Sky Lantern Festival, which starts from Chinese Lunar New Year on Jan. 26.
In addition to its international campaign, the county would also still pressure the central government to recognize Pinghsi's festival as a piece of national cultural heritage, Li said.


Updated : 2020-12-04 11:01 GMT+08:00