19 February - 3 March 2019
Dating back to traditional agricultural celebrations and marking the arrival of spring after new year, the annual Lantern Festival is one of the most important and romantic dates on the Taiwanese calendar. Thousands of shining decorative lanterns, bearing the wishes of their owners, illuminate the sky over rural Pingxi District in New Taipei, Taiwan. Meanwhile, firecrackers are set off at the Wumiao Temple in Yanshui District of Tainan in southwest Taiwan. Together, these ceremonies are known as “fireworks in the south, sky lanterns in the north.” Locals eat the traditional fare of rice dumplings with sweet and savoury fillings, known as tangyuan, and take part in lion and dragon dances, acrobatics and mock battles. Giant high tech light installations give the festival a futuristic edge, while times past are reflected in traditional handicraft markets selling everything from painted fans, Chinese knotwork and snacks, to paper craft and, of course, lanterns.