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Taiwan Festival

Lantern Festival

Date: 2019/02/19

The Lantern Festival is celebrated annually on the 15th day of the first lunar month to mark the grand finale of the Chinese New Year celebrations. It is also the very first full moon day of the New Year, symbolizing the coming of the spring. People usually celebrate this festival by enjoying family dinner together, eating Yuanxiao (glutinous rice dumpling), carrying paper lanterns, and solving the riddles on the lanterns. The festival is celebrated with fanfare events in Taiwan, including the internationally famed Pingxi Sky Lantern Festival in New Taipei City, Bombing Lord Han Dan in Taitung, and Yanshui Beehive Rockets Festival in Tainan, to welcome the New Year in a spirit of peace, prosperity and joy.

Bombing Lord Han Dan is a special ceremony in Taitung, which a chosen man performs in the role of Master Han Dan-a god of wealth, and gets thrown by firecrackers. During the event, the chosen man wears nothing but a pair of red short pants, holds one bamboo fan to protect his face, stands on a sedan chair, and being carried around by four devotees. Firecrackers are to be thrown at the chosen one as it is believed that Lord Han Dan cannot bear the cold weather. The firecrackers are to keep him warm as well as to pray for wealth and prosperities.

Pingxi Sky Lantern Festival is held every year during the Lantern Festival in Pingxi of New Taipei City. Sky Lanterns, also known as Kongming Lantern are flying paper lanterns traditionally found in some Asian cultures. It was invented by Kongming during three kingdoms period by Zhu Ke-Liang (aka Kongming) in order to pass military information. They are constructed from oiled rice paper on a bamboo made frame, and contain a small candle or fuel cell composed of a waxy flammable material. After lit, the flame heats the air inside the lantern, same concept of a hot air balloon which raises the lantern into the sky. People nowadays usually write their wishes on the sky lanterns because it is believed as the lantern fly into the sky; it is a way to pass on your wishes to gods above.

Yanshui Beehive Rocket Festival is a distinctive religious event scheduled on the day of the Lantern Festival in Yanshui, Tainan. On the day of the Lantern Festival, people would visit Yanshui in Tainan City to follow the sedan chair of the divinity and the release of thousands of firecrackers. Participants are required to wear a helmet, mask, towel, as well as dressed in long pants and long sleeves shirt for safety.

Other than the three major Lantern Festival celebrations of Taiwan listed above, the annual Taiwan Lantern Festival takes place at different Taiwan City every year. The splendid Taiwan Lantern Festival is filled with thousands traditional, cartoon and thematically designed lanterns of various shapes, sizes, and colors. The theme of Taiwan Lantern Festival varies each year according to the Chinese zodiac sign of 12 animals (rat, ox, tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake, horse, sheep (or goat), monkey, rooster, dog, and pig.)

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Events

2018 Taiwan Lantern Festival in Chiayi

Date: 2018/3/2(Fri)-3/11(Sun)

Place: Southern Branch of the National Palace Museum, Taizi Boulevard, Special Administrative Region of Chiayi County

Taiwan Lantern Festival in Chiayi
(Photo by May)

The 2018 Taiwan Lantern Festival events will be presented via water, on the land, and in the air. Combining tourism, technology, culture and art, the festival will show Chiayi County's renewed traditions and creativity as a ground-breaking "smart" event.

The "water" lantern zone features water and light shows, presenting globally famous sea of clouds, sunrise, forest railways and cherry blossoms of Alishan, while the "land" lantern zone delves into Chiayi history, highlighting traditional craft art and the works by local artists with innovative ideas instilled, and the "air" lantern zone shows high-tech lanterns made with new technology, materials and techniques.

Taipei Lantern Festival

Date: 2018/2/24(Sat)-3/4(Sun)

Place: The north Gate & Sec. 1, Zhonghua Rd.

Taipei Lantern Festival
(Photo by Lu)

Taipei Lantern Festival, Kaohsiung Lantern Festival and Taiwan Lantern Festival are the three major celebration events in Taiwan. Visiting the Lantern Festival has become a regular routine during this time of the year. With different themed lanterns and lighting effects, it’s a great way to experience the holiday spirit. This year, Taipei Lantern Festival is held in the area from Beimen Square to Red House Ximending. Visitors can enjoy the rich local culture of the historical sites.



  • Lighting Ceremony: 2018/2/24(Sat) 18:00-19:30, MRT Ximen Station
  • Carnival Parade: 2018/3/3(Sat) 17:30-21:00, in front of Taipei Fuxing Elementary School (near MRT Beimen Station)
  • Closing and Awards Ceremony: 2018/3/4 19:00-20:30(Sun) MRT Ximen Station

New Taipei Pingxi Sky Lantern Festival

Date: 2018/3/2(Fri)

Place: Pingxi District, New Taipei

Pingxi Sky Lantern Festival
(Photo by Proboss)

The annual celebration of the Lantern Festival releases the flying lanterns to attract many tourists every February. This event has becoming a worldwide renowned event, even been named one of the best winter trips this year by National Geographic Travel, it is a worth visit Taiwan event. Sky Lanterns, also known as Kongming Lantern is believed as a way to pass on wishes to gods above. Visitors can write their wishes on a sky lantern and release it to the sky in various places in town. Thousands of people travel here to see the superb scene of innumerable sky lanterns rising into the sky. During each night of the festival, thousands of sky lanterns illuminate the night skies of northern Taiwan is truly an amazing sight.

Miaoli Bombing the Dancing Dragon

Date: 2018/2/24(Sat)-3/4(Sun)

Place: Miaoli Yuqing Temple, Jingguo Road Riverside Park, Wenchang Temple

Bombing the Dancing Dragon
(Photo by Miaoli County Miaoli City Office)

The Bombing the Dancing Dragon is originally celebrated by the Hakka people, which is a historic tradition to suppress the evil and bring in the good. Nowadays, this event is to welcome the spring and receive good luck, as well as to relive tradition and pass down the Hakka culture. On the day of Lantern Festival, the 15th day of January according to Lunar Calendar, several people move the dragon up and down and side-to-side, and spectators will throw fireworks and firecrackers at the dancing dragon to pray for fortune and to ask for blessings.

Taichung Lantern Festival

Date: 2018/2/24(Sat)-3/11(Sun)

Place: Taichung Park & Taichung City Seaport Art Center

Taichung Lantern Festival
(Photo by Cherry)

The 2018 Taichung Lantern Festival is held in Taichung Park & Taichung City Seaport Art Center with two main lanterns celebrating the Year of Dog. The bases of the main lanterns are decorated by flowers, promoting the 2018 Taichung World Flora Exposition “The Sound of Blooming”.

Changhua Flower Festival

Date: 2018/2/16(Fri)-3/3(Sat)

Place: Xizhou Park, Changhua County

Changhua Flower Festival

The Changhua Flower Festival during the Chinese New Year Holidays each year attracted a lot of people to visit and enjoy flower viewing. This year, the event organizer includes the lantern district and light show for the first time, inviting travelers to view flowers during daytime and enjoy the lights during nighttime. The feature of the Flower Festival is the lanterns in the pond as well as the large flower themed lantern.

Nantou Lantern Festival

Date: 2018/2/10(Sat)-3/4(Sun)

Place: Main Lantern District- Nantou County Expo Center; Puli Lantern District- Nan’an Rd. and Minyou 2nd St.

Nantou Lantern Festival

The 2017 Nantou Lantern Festival will move from Jiji Station, Checheng Station and Zhuoshui Station to Nantou City for the Year of the Rooster celebrations. Combined with diverse events including Sand Sculpture, Water Show, Dinosaur Show and many local traditions and specials, Nantou Lantern Festival invites you to enjoy the lively festival and explore the fascinating Nantou attractions as well.

Taoyuan Lantern Festival

Date: 2018/2/21(Wed)-3/4(Sun)

Place: Taoyuan City

Taoyuan Lantern Festival
(Photo by Leon)

To celebrate the Year of the Dog, Taoyuan Lantern Festival is having Snoopy for the New Year celebration. There will be 4 lantern districts, each presenting different themes with Snoopy and friends. There will also be scheduled water laser light shows in the Taoyuan lantern district.

Tainan Yanshui Beehive Firecrackers Festival

Date: 2018/3/1(Thu)-2018/3/2(Fri)

Place: Wu Temple

Tainan Yanshui Beehive Firecrackers Festival
(Photo by Rony)

Tainan Yanshui Beehive Firecrackers plays an important role in the festivities of Lantern Festival in southern Taiwan. The name “Beehive” is referred to the bottle rockets launches from a central beehive shaped wooden castles into the crowds, instead of skyward. In the late 1800, a deadly cholera and plague gradually deprived more and more live when the ceremony was arranged the first time to call for help from the Guanyu divinity. Nowadays, the annual Yanshui Beehive Festival becomes a local custom to hoping the diseases can be sent away and to expressing the appreciation to the Guanyu for saving many lives and bringing the peace back to the town. It is truly a thrilling way to bring an end to the New Year’s celebrations.

Kaohsiung Lantern Festival

Date: 2018/2/18(Sun)- 2018/3/3(Sat)

Place: East and west banks of Love River, Cishan, Gangshan, Fo Guang Shan

Kaohsiung Lantern Festival
(Photo by Eva)

Kaohsiung Lantern Festival is held at the surrounding areas of Love River, which is celebrated the major festival with colorful lanterns of all sizes and shapes. The event has grown popular over the year, thus the event has grown into larger scale. Kaohsiung Lantern Festival is the third biggest lantern carnival in Taiwan as an expression of the theme of love and happiness. The festival as well integrates the special characteristics of Kaohsiung culture and art which brings the image of Kaohsiung and offers everyone a unique experience of Chinese New Year in the harbor city of Kaohsiung.

Yue Jin Lantern Festival

Date: 2018/2/10(Sat)- 2018/3/4(Sun)

Place: Yue Jin Harbor (Qiaonan St., Yanshui Dist., Tainan)

台南月津港燈節
(Photo by Yue Jin Lantern Festival)

Yue Jin Lantern Festival is first held in 2010. Combining traditional lantern celebration with art, the festival is full of creativity and local characteristics. Yue Jin Lantern Festival has become one of the Lantern Festival celebrations one would not want to miss these days. This year, Yue Jin Lantern Festival will celebrate New Year under the theme “Greeting of the Four Seasons.” Presenting a magical celebration of the different seasons with 4 different colors and 50 pieces of lantern arts including 7 large lanterns and 4 international artist’s work.

Taitung Bombarding Master Han Dan

Date: 2018/3/2(Fri)-3/3(Sat)

Place: Citizen Plaza, Harbor Park, Taitung City

Taitung Bombarding Master Han Dan
(Photo by Zean)

The Lantern Festival in Taitung City has over 60 years of history, held annually by Matsu Temple and Haishan Temple. The most popular local activity in Taitung during this period is the Bombarding of Master Handan. In Taiwan folklore the Mater Han Dan is regarded as a god of wealth who is known of being afraid of the cold, so bombarding fireworks is to keep him warm and in the hope of obtaining his blessing for prosperous the coming year will be. A chosen man will perform in the role of the Master Han Dan who will wear nothing except a pair of red short pants, and hold a bamboo fan to protect his face while standing on a sedan chair, carried around in designated route by four devotees.

Hualien Pacific Lantern Festival

Date: 2018/1/20(Sat)-3/11(Sun)

Place: 2/10-3/11Hualien Sixth Urban District; 1/20-2/20Hualien Carp Lake (Liyutan)

Hualien Pacific Lantern Festival
(Photo by Lu)

2018 Hualien Pacific Lantern Festival this year present the unique Light and Water Show, Blue Whale Light Show and 3D Red-faced Rubber Duck Water Light Show with 2 main lanterns representing the water and the land. Combining the local culture, Hualien Government is presenting the most traditional lantern of all. The New Year Shopping Street will be open as well for your convenience.

Must-See Places

Pingxi Old Street
Yehliu Geopark
Liyu Lake
Beigang Chao-Tian Temple
National Palace Museum Southern Branch

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