Lantern Festival Taiwan: Light Up the Sky

Centuries of culture, winding coastal roads, sweeping forests and world-class cocktails – these are just a handful of reasons to visit the elegant and sometimes childish grace of Taiwan. There is something about the ‘other China’ that makes you want to crack a smile, to run barefoot in the grass and listen with rapture to legends from another world.

Lantern Festival Taiwan

All these emotions seem to cumulate and climax on the eve of the Lantern festival Taiwan. Imagine a night sky, black and deep, illuminated by thousands of colorful lanterns rising to meet the stars. This is a moment of pure poetry on the calendar of Taiwan and a vision where words can only tread lightly in lieu of the splendor and beauty.

For over two thousand years people have gathered with their burning sacrifices to the sky, each inscribed with a wish or dream for the New Year. In synchronized hope, everyone releases the lantern and lets out a sigh as the gentle moonlit breeze carries these wishes to heaven.

Lantern Festival Taiwan 2

Image Courtesy: flickr.com/Miles

Alongside the brightly adorned lanterns you will see majestic creations from those participating in the lantern competition. Here you will find the most impressive and dazzling displays of paper and light; some tell the stories of centuries past, others invoke myth and legend and some are intricately carved with personal significance.

Along with the fire of the lanterns glazing the night sky, the whole square is illuminated with lights in every shape and form. From the twinkling fairy lights to the kaleidoscope laser beams cutting through the sky, the grand wire sculptures are fused with light too and there are fire breathing dragons and sharp clawed tigers for as far as the eye can see.

Lantern Festival Taiwan 3

Image Courtesy: flickr.com/MarkKao

Alongside the magical creations, traditional song and dance fills your sight and senses, spiced food sizzles from wooden shacks and every child you see is wide eyed on this night where magic really does seem to come to life.

Top Image Courtesy: flickr.com/TingW.Chang

Jodie Oakes

Jodie Oakes

Jodie Oakes is a seasoned writer and an avid surfer with continuously itchy feet and a love of the finer things in life. After traveling through the continent with a touring band, living in Paris, Amsterdam and under the Auroras Borealis, she is now in Bulgaria where she attempts to piece together her first poetry collection.
Jodie Oakes