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Thursday, March 8, 2012

Taiwan Lantern Festival

Zoe Hung & Marian Li

During the long winter vacation, students can go to many places and do many things to have fun. Of course, we can appreciate the Taiwan traditional lantern festival. This year, the Taiwan Lantern Festival was held in Lukang. Since the streets of Lukang are narrow,  Chunghua county government separated the lantern festival area into three regions – the North Lantern Area, the Zhong Shan Road Charming Lantern Area, and the South Lantern Area.
All photos by the authors
In the North Lantern Area, there were not only lanterns, but also popular performances.  The main lantern show combined traditional culture, art, technology and fashion. The lanterns lighted up while being rotated three minutes every half hour each evening. Then a magnificent fireworks show came after the main lantern show. The fireworks lighted up the Lukang sky. There were many musical, acrobatic and dancing performances, also. We were impressed by Azure Blue, which was musical group from Australia. One of the violinists played the violin while riding a unicycle, and one of violoncellists played the violoncello while walking on stilts.


 When we got hungry, you went to the Zhong Shan Road Charming Lantern Area. There were a lot of specialties we could choose from such as steamed meat buns, noodles and green bean cakes. Moreover, we saw nine dragon lanterns in the sky. Each dragon lantern had a different meaning. Take the money-shaped dragon lantern and the boat-shaped dragon for example. The former was a symbol of wealth, and the latter was a symbol of health. All the nine dragon lanterns strung together were 1.5 kilometers long. Later, we went to the riddles lantern area in front of Lung Shan Temple to guess the riddles. Clues were written on the lanterns, and we had to guess the Chinese word or the Taiwan place name.

 We walked south and saw a lot of competitive lanterns in the South Lantern Area. The competitive lanterns, which were all made by students, encircled the Man Mo Temple.


There was also a special dragon lantern that was made of Chinese writing brushes in the temple square.

 

 All of the beautiful lanterns and delicious foods at this year’s Lantern Festival in Lukang have encouraged us to visit the Taiwan Lantern Festival again next year. The 2013 festival will be held in Xin Zhu. You can get information about the Lantern Festival on the Internet; be sure not to miss it!

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