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Kaohsiung Lantern Festival

Koahsiung Lantern Festival

It’s Party Time In Kaohsiung, Taiwan

Kaohsiung Lantern Festival welcomes The Year Of The Red Fire Monkey. The streets are ablaze with lanterns, both big and small. The city has taken to the streets, as the Kaohsiung Lantern Festival gets into full swing. The Year of The Red Fire Monkey has arrived. It is party time in Taiwan! Come and join us……Let’s  celebrate!

The Red Fire Monkey is the ninth animal on the Lunar Chinese Calendar. The calendar has 12 animals and repeats its cycle every 12 years. Every 12 years we can celebrate the Year Of The Monkey. The New Year has been in full celebration this whole last week. Now we climax an amazing week of celebration with the Lantern Festival.

In Chinese Astrology every year is associated with one of the animal signs and one of five elements. The possible elements are gold, wood, fire, earth, and water. The year 2016 is the first time since 1956 that the Chinese have celebrated the Red Fire Monkey. The Chinese consider this monkey to be  ambitious, and adventurous, but he is also said to get quite irritable. This Element/Animal  sign combination occur every 60 years.

Even though the monkey arrives every 12 years, the accompanying Element sign changes each 12 years for five different monkey cycles. Each monkey is thought to be a little different. Those who believe in this calendar system, believe that the sign you are born under effects, who you are, what you will be like, and how you will grow up. If you are born in the Year of The Red Fire Money, it is believed that you will be an ambitious person who likes adventure. You are also thought to get quite irritable at times.

Twelve years ago, The Year of The Wood Monkey was celebrated. People born under the sign of the Wood Monkey are thought to be always ready and willing to lend a helping hand to others. These people are thought to be compassionate, with a strong self-esteem, but they can be quit stubborn at times. The last two years of the Wood Monkey were 2004 and 1944.

Twenty-four years ago they celebrated the year of the Water Monkey. He was celebrated the last two times in the years 1992 and 1932. This monkey is thought to be smart, very quick-witted, and very fond of being the center of attention. He is thought to be very haughty and naughty.

Thirty-six years ago they celebrated the year of the Gold Monkey. The last two times it was celebrated were in the years of 1980 and 1920. He is thought to be smart, extremely quick-witted, and more than a little confident. He can also be very  irritable and extremely stubborn.

The last monkey is the Earth monkey. He was last celebrated 48 years ago. His last two celebrations were in the years of 1968 and 1908. This monkey sign is thought to be very frank, optimistic, and fearless.

So as you see how the Year of the Red Fire Monkey is celebrated. This gives you a little idea of what they believe and why they celebrate the way they do. The New Year Celebration is the most important celebration of the year. Many people have this complete celebration off from work, so that they can celebrate with their families in the towns were they came from. Often times this is the only time that the complete family comes together all year. This is a time when special foods take the limelight, children have gotten their money envelopes, and the family has partied together all week. Now they go to the closest city and celebrate the climax of these last few days with the Lantern Festival. This is the time to celebrate!Love

Love Above The World

Love Above The World is another one of the unique lanterns at the Kaohsiung Lantern Festival. Hundreds of unique and spectacular lanterns fly high in the sky during this Festival. This one is all about love and is one of the highlighted lanterns of the Kaohsiung Festival. The Kaohsiung Lantern Festival is alive with color and music. Magic is in the air. This is the happiest time of the year! Dancing is in the streets. Children and adults have taken to the streets to observe this amazing celebration. The Kaohsiung Lantern Festival is one of the largest in Taiwan. However, there are festivals big and small. There are lantern festivals throughout Taiwan, as this island welcomes The Year of the Red Fire Monkey.

The Year of the Monkey will be exciting! This is a year to shake things up! Try things a new way or make drastic changes. Monkey’s have enthusiast energy. Have you ever just watched a group of monkeys on the edge of the jungle?  When uncertain events are rewarded with treats, they will do anything. Even the most ambitious projects are sure to succeed. Monkeys make sure there is enough action and ideas to keep everyone busy. In a Monkey year, the Chinese like to just make things up as they happen. Just be careful, some monkeys will take all your peanuts, and give you a handful of empty shells.

Monkeys are fantastic and fun to be around. Watch them at any zoo.  They are playful, creative, and bring a bubbly energy that only these playful creatures  can provide. The Chinese believe that children born in Monkey years will be strong leaders. Much like their best friend, the Dragon, no one can tell them what to do. Have you ever seen a monkey get embarrassed?  They feel free to express themselves anywhere they may be.Dragon

 The Illuminated Chinese Lantern

Another fun type of lantern are the modern illuminated Chinese lanterns. They are tall and bright. You can see them above the crowd. Every festival has many dragons. Especially in a monkey year, it is good to see their best friend, the dragon. You will see tall dragons and long dragons. Some will be illuminated with many embedded lights and others will be plain. These modern illuminated lanterns are often larger than the others and taller. Notice the huge dragon in the photo. He is created in the traditional way, using Chinese ideas and ways, but with hundreds of tiny LED lights. Notice how bright the orange, the red, and the green are in this modern-day dragon. Kaohsiung Lantern Festival along the Love River in Taiwan

Floating Down The Love River

At the Kaohsiung Lantern Festival , even the Love River is alive with color. These modern illuminated lanterns take on a new twist on the Love River. What a climax to this years celebration. Every street and every store, humble homes and rich homes,  and even the romantic and beautiful Love River are covered with lanterns of every kind.

This is the time of the year when all of Asia welcomes The New Year. Kaohsiung welcomes the Year of the Red Fire Monkey with dances and light shows on the Love River. Color is everywhere.  There are Water Dances and magnificent Light Displays. The displays on the Love River  are out of this world.

What fun is in the streets! Laughter and joy fill the air! Children of all ages rejoice and are happy! New Years is a time of family celebration. Families enjoy being together, and eating the many festival foods. It is the time of the year to welcome with excitement the coming year of the Red Fire Monkey. It is a time filled with hope for wealth, good luck,  prosperity and good health. This is the hope of the New Year. It is a special time for all the people of China, Taiwan, and Hong Kong. It is time to celebrate. All of Asia welcomes the New Year at this time.Jumping for Joy

At The Kaohsiung Lantern Festival

Jumping for Joy in the streets of Kaohsiung at the Lantern Festival. Happiness is everywhere. Smiles are seen on every face. The young adults are excited and leap for joy. There is dancing in the streets. Flowers of every kind and color are everywhere. You will see lantern flowers and real flowers. There will be every type of dance and exhibit you can think of.

You only have to look at the faces of these young women to see how happy they are to be there. They are excited as they welcome in this New Year. It is a year of expectancy, a year of hope. In the New Year the Taiwanese look forward to all that the next year will bring. They delight in the time they have spent with their families. They have sang songs and danced. They have eaten special Taiwanese delicacies. Now as the Lantern festival comes to a close, their happiness continues throughout the year. Business men and women return to their jobs in the cities. Students return to their schools. Villages quiet down and return to normal. Farmers and fisherman return to work. They are confident that this New Year, The Year of The Red Fire Monkey will bring them happiness and luck. They are confident that wealth and prosperity will be at their gates. This will be a good year filled with good health and a good life.

As Taiwan celebrates, so the Explore Traveler Team wishes each one a happy and prosperous New Year. We wish all our friends throughout Asia wealth, happiness, and good health in the coming year. If you have never celebrated the New Year in Taiwan, there is plenty of time to plan.  This is a good time to add it to next year’s bucket list.

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