It’s February 14th, Valentine’s Day, but it’s also the 15th day after the lunar new year making it the Lantern Festival. As the name suggests, it’s the day for lanterns. Every city in Taiwan, big and small, holds their own lantern displays professionally and locally made. One special city is selected to have the biggest display of lanterns and main light display. This year it is in Nantou’s ChungXin Village.
I was able to visit four different cities this time. If you have a chance around lunar new year, stay from Day 1 through the 15th and you’ll sure have a blast.
KaoHsiung City Love River (愛河)
I didn’t visit at night, but it was the biggest ever lantern display using over 20,000 LED lightbulbs.
Tainan City (月津港)
Instead of the common theme, horse, for the year of the horse, Tainan went with.. Jellyfish? With the water element at the bay, the light displays are quite impressive.
There are also two very special events on this special day. One in Northern Taiwan and the other in Southern Taiwan. Commonly referred to as “北天燈，南蜂炮” or “Northern Lanterns and Southern Firecracker”
In Pingxi, tens of thousands of people decorates their own lantern with their wishes and desire and sends it off for good luck.
In Southern Taiwan, Yen Shui, the city is filled with firecrackers pointing toward the street for the fearless and the adventurous. It is recommended that you are fully armed before attempting to try this out.
Every year, Taiwan spends millions upon millions of dollar on this day. If you ever plan on visiting Taiwan, plan strategically and check the lunar calendar and you will experience Taiwan at its best (given that you tried out the food and toured around a bit that is).