All over Taiwan, festivals mark the 15th day of the Lunar New Year, which this year happens this Sunday, February 24. Perhaps the most visually stunning celebration happens in Pingxi District, a rural area in northern Taiwan. There, during Lunar New Year celebrations, locals and visitors send sky lanterns into the air on three nights.
These paper lanterns are powered by a small flame, kind of like a miniature hot air balloon, and people write their wishes for the new year on the side. Two thousand of them go into the air on the final night — this Sunday — floating slowly upwards, illuminating the night sky. Because some argue there’s a fire hazard associated with the spectacle, this is the only place in Taiwan where sky lanterns are permitted.
Other Lantern Festivals take place all over Taiwan featuring absolutely massive lanterns (some up to 20 metres tall), parades, performances, and fireworks. Discovery Channel has called the festival one of the best in the world.
Photo: Sheng-Fa Lin