Jumping For Joy At The Lantern Festival
Joy, precious Joy, at the Lantern Festivals throughout Taiwan and much of Asia. The Lantern Festival is the happiest time of these 15 days of celebration. What fun there is as the New Year is welcomed in,all over this tiny nation. Lunar New Year is the major festival throughout most of Asia and children wait breathlessly each year for the biggest party of the year. It is 15 days of fun and enjoyment that climaxes in the Lantern Festival. Lanterns of every type and size are floating in the air. Lanterns hang on the ceilings of homes and shops, and are at every door. Some lanterns are handmade and are simple and special and others are very complex and were bought for the occasion. Some are small and some are huge. Everywhere you look at red and gold lanterns, red tassels, and yes, red flowers. Red and gold are the colors of prosperity and long life. They are believed to bring good health for the coming year.
Traditionally, the festival has been celebrated by families carrying hand lanterns throughout the streets of villages and cities alike. The Kaohsiung and Taipei Lantern Festivals add many a high-tech touch to this traditional custom. Displays of light shows bring the event to the international level.People all over the world flock to see the Kaohsiung Light Show on the Love River. From the theme lantern displays to folk arts and performances, these festivals have become a favorite of both locals and tourists. The fragrance of flowers linger, lights flicker from the river, and music fills the air. Young women can be seen jumping for joy, as they celebrate with all the passion and zeal they have.
The Pingxi Sky Lantern Festival is one of the most unique and colorful events in this small mountain hillside town of Pingxi. In times past, the humble lantern were used by those who worked or farmed in the mountain areas to notify families that all was well. Due to the severe risk of being robbed or killed, this brought peace of mind to the families who were waiting in the small mountain villages below. Now these same lanterns are used as symbols of peace and prosperity for the coming new year.
Another very unique Lantern Festival is the fireworks display at the god of war temple in Yanshui, Tainan City. This is one of the most anticipated events in the region. It begins the day before the Lantern Festival when local deities tour the town in a sedan chair, setting off firecrackers and bottle rockets as they go. There is much noise, flashing lights, and many rituals that accompany their god as he tours the city well into the next day. Isn’t unique that lanterns that were used to bring peace of mind to the villagers, now symbolize a peaceful and prosperous New Year.
No matter where in Taiwan you choose to party, there will be laughter and joy in the air, as you celebrate the Lantern Festival. It is fun! It is unique! It is Taiwan, as they welcome the New Year. On your next trip to Taiwan, plan it during the 15 day New Year’s Festival that ends with the Lantern Festival. There is fun for the whole family, in Taiwan.
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