If you’re heading to Taiwan in the month of February, the Pingxi Lantern Festival should be one of your must-see itinerary items. This Chinese New Year, see this old mining town come alive.
Make your way to Northern Taiwan, just outside of Taipei for Pingxi Lantern Festival. Held on February 19th (the 15th day of the lunar year), The Lantern Festival marks the final day of Chinese New Year celebration. Celebrants gather to write their intentions and desires onto paper lanterns before igniting them up and releasing them into the sky.
What You Can Expect
The quaint mining town of of Pingxi is only a 45 minute drive away from Taipei, making it an ideal weekend day trip. Pingxi features a quaint old street lined with souvenir shops and street food stalls and railroad that runs down the middle. Explore the charming streets and check older, Japanese-style wooden houses and buildings built in the 30s and 40s.
If you’re hoping to release your very own sky lantern in Pingxi, you’ll find a number of stores sell lanterns along the laneways. You can purchase one for about 150 – 200 NTD, and stores will provide you will paint and brushes so you can write out your festival wish on the lantern. Staff will help you release your lantern (right on the train tracks!) and you can watch it float into the sky.
Aside from releasing your own lantern, you can head to the main festival area, Shifen Sky Lantern Square, to catch the truly magical sight of thousands of lanterns being released into the sky at the same time. Watching an immense amount of glowing lanterns glide across the dark sky is an striking view not to be missed.
How to Get to Pingxi Lantern Festival
Getting to Pingxi from Taipei is fairly simple. From Taipei Main Station or Songshan Station, hop on the TRA Northbound towards Ruifang Station. At Ruifang, transfer over to the Pingxi Line and get off the train at Pingxi Station. Unlimited Pingxi Line passes are available for travelers who might be making a few different stops along the way (if you’re headed to both Shifen and Pingxi, this is a good option).
Pro-Tip: It’s important to keep in mind that the train does take a little longer than car and you should expect pretty big crowds during the festival. If you’re hoping to avoid the crowds, opt instead for a private or shared tour from Taipei. Alternatively, you can take a shuttle bus from Taipei Zoo Parking Lot.
For an awe-inspiring view, it doesn’t get much better than the Pingxi Lantern Festival. Experience a piece of Taiwan’s culture and past with a trip to historic and quaint Pingxi.