The Lantern Festival in Taiwan

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By Yooji Yang

One of the famous festivals in Taiwan is known as Lantern Festival. It is the annual celebration happens in Taiwan. Many related countries also have this festival; however, since we focus more of Taiwan and China, so I decided to focus on Taiwan’s Lantern Festival. Since this festival is huge, many people from different countries come and visit Taiwan. In this year, the visitors reach 12million. The festival usually held in February, “on the first full moon night of the lunar year”. There are many events that people can participate.

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The Lantern Festival started by the ancient Chinese who believed that “celestial spirits could be seen flying about in the light of the first full moon of the new lunar year.” their search using torches made the current celebration by flying the colorful lanterns to the sky. There are many legends related with this celebration. In the past, this festival was known as “Little New Year” and people celebrated as long as 45days. In nowadays the festival only last for a week. Lantern Festival happens in many cities within Taiwan. On the night of this festival, we can see many shapes and colors of lanterns in the sky.

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Within the Lantern Festival week, people celebrated with “lantern making, lantern riddle games, and displays of glittering decorative lanterns.” There are also many delicious foods in the festival. One traditional festival food is “Tangyuan” also known as  “Yuansiao.” This is the “rice dumplings with sweet or savory stuffing.” There are many different flavors of Tangyuan.

Each year, the main lantern is changing according to the Chinese zodiac. Since this year is the Year of the Snake, the main lantern was feature in snake. This Lantern Festival is holding in many different cities in Taiwan in every year and this year, it is held in Hsinchu. During this festival, people can see many different events including the parade. Because the lanterns usually turn on during the night, the main events happen at night. At night, the lanterns fly everywhere in the sky, people can see the beautiful view at night.

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We could realize how famous this Lantern Festival because in this year, Taiwan Lantern Festival was brought to United States and displayed in LA. “It is the first time that a large lantern from the annual festival in Taiwan is being displayed.” With this, it was the great opportunity for Taiwan to introduce their famous festival and also Taiwan itself to the people around the world.

Same as many countries, Taiwan also has many famous festivals held. The Lantern Festival is one of this. There are meaningful history is behind this festival and continue held until now. By attending this event, people can understand the history of this Lantern Festival and enjoy participating many events held in this festival. It is also a great way to gather the tourists from many countries. The Lantern festival is great way to introduce Taiwan to people from other countries.

Questions: what do you think of the main lantern from Taiwan brought to US in order to celebrate the annual Taiwan Day in US? Would you like to visit Taiwan and attend the Lantern Festival?

resources:

http://www.marimari.com/content/taiwan/events_festivals/events.html

http://go2taiwan.net/monthly_selection.php?sqno=20

http://www.taipeitimes.com/News/taiwan/archives/2013/02/24/2003555591

http://focustaiwan.tw/news/aall/201304170041.aspx

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