Sunday, January 16, 2011

Taiwan Lantern Festival

Taiwan Lantern Festival lights

The Shang Yuan Festival (or Lantern Festival) is celebrated on the fifteenth day of the first moon. The major cities in Taiwan rotate in hosting the event. I first saw the Lantern Festival when it was held in Tainan City, the oldest and most traditional city in Taiwan.

Decorative lanterns displayed on large stages depict birds, animals, astrological symbols, historical figures and events and any number of different themes. They're constructed throughout the country in schools and universities and by local businesses, with competitions being held for best lanterns in numerous categories. Lantern-making is a serious art form in Taiwan.

I went the first night to the Lantern Festival with my friend Ilona, but I was so blown away by the fantastic lanterns I had to go back again to run around like a mental case taking pictures, but when I look at them now, I'm glad I did.
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Taiwan Lantern Festival Tainan CityTaiwan Lantern Festival red car
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Taiwan Lantern Festival Taiwan lady in bell bottomsTaiwan Lantern Festival man in canoe
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Taiwan Lantern Festival Tainan City seal pup
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