Dubbed as the second-largest New Year’s Eve celebration in the world by Discovery Channel, a one-of-a-kind magical moment awaits you at the Pingxi Sky Lantern Festival in Taipei! Witness 100,000 paper lanterns float and light up the dark sky on February 8, 2020. What makes it even more enchanting is that its celebration date varies every year—always on the first full moon of the Chinese Lunar New Year. If the idea of lantern festivals excites you, read on to find out what you should keep in mind before you go:
Experience A World-class Event
In 2016, National Geographic hailed the sky lantern festival as part of the top 10 best winter trips worldwide. The Spring Festival or Chinese New Year symbolizes the transformation that happens as one welcomes another year. It is turning away from the old self and embracing the new. This year, the festival will take place at Shifen in Pingxi District, New Taipei City.
Along with the allure of the lanterns are the flock of night stalls and fireworks, making it one of the busiest times of the year.
Be Part of History As You Release Sky Lanterns To The Sky
Did you know that sky lanterns, also called kongming lanterns, are not released to the heavens just for the sake of aesthetics? Such tradition dates back to a thousand years ago, specifically during the Qing Dynasty. At the time, numerous bandits steal from the local villages. As a solution, the citizens went into hiding in the mountains. The lanterns became the symbol of hope to inform locals that it is safe to come back already.
And then there’s also another tale, in which the farmers used lanterns to signify their prayers to the gods, hoping for an abundant harvest. That’s why, until now, the tradition of sending hopes and dreams to the sky is still alive. To participate, book with KKday here.
Send Those Wishes And Hope It Comes True
Before taking part in the festival, you should write down your dreams and wishes so that you will not take too much time thinking about what you want. You can also search for what color of lantern you want to represent your wish for. To give you an idea, here are the colors available and the wishes they represent:
- Red (health and peace)
- Yellow (money and wealth)
- Blue (career and promotion)
- Purple (study and test)
- White (future and brightness)
- Orange (love and marriage)
- Green (vigor and success)
- Magenta (attraction and popularity)
- Pink (bliss and joy).
Multiple colors can also be requested if you want to combine the aspirations you have. If you fail to participate in this event, several people release their lanterns at the Shifen Old Street, where people are allowed to do so all year round. Check out KKday’s Taiwan Northeast Coast Day Tour.
What to Expect
The festival will run for three days, releasing eight batches of lantern into three periods that are set along the railway. From the get-go, the first session starts at Jingtong Elementary School, then at Pingxi Junior High School. The first two sessions showcase different approaches of creativity by participants when designing their lanterns. And the last one is a jam-packed event at the Shifen Sky Lantern Square.
Are you worried about the effects of sky lanterns on the environment? Fret not, it is made of rice paper and a bamboo frame, making most of the lantern eco-friendly. Additionally, there’s always a clean-up drive to ensure the mountains are free from waste.
What More Can You Do in Shifen
Waiting for the festival might be too taxing, but there’s so much more you can do before releasing your sky lantern. You can take a stroll at Shifen Old Street where a variety of souvenirs and native foods await you. You can even explore picture-perfect worthy spots with plenty of street art and charming cafes.
After, you can head to Shifen Waterfalls, a total treasure of Taiwan as it is their very own version of the Niagara Falls. Up next is the Taiwan Coal Mine Museum, where tunnels will allow you to be mesmerized with the history of the coal mining industry. Then, you can cap off your day with the incredible view of lanterns dotting the sky, making you feel as though all your wishes will really come true.
*Featured image by Tanachot Srijam on Shutterstock