In Taiwan, the Lantern Festival is celebrated on the fifteenth day of the first month of the lunar calendar. Every year local governments in Taiwan take turns hosting the national lantern festival, displaying many lanterns and organizing various activities. This year the festival was held in Yunlin (雲林).
Below we show a few highlights from the various themes in the lantern festival.
Of course, a lantern festival without a street food area is inappropriate. There was a huge area dedicated for street vendors all over Taiwan.
Grilled whole pigs.
Winter Gate of the food area.
World Culture/Regional Area
New this year was an area dedicated to new Taiwanese immigrants from Southeast Asia.
Philippine festival themed lanterns.
I heard this was a very important role for the MaZu belief.
Main Lantern Area Gate
Here we enter the main lantern area.
This year’s main chicken festival lantern.
Another main statue depicting Yunlin’s major agricultural products: rice, watermelon, peanuts, etc.
Individual/Local Government/Company-sponsored Area
Here local towns and companies showcased their own themed lanterns.
Tatung Electronics (大同電器), famous for its ultra long life rice cooker.
Each local township in Yunlin had a lantern:
A Glove Puppet-themed lantern.
Taiwan Postal Service lantern.
Yunlin Farm Themed Artistic Area
To me the most interesting area was dedicated to collaborations between artists and local communities. Instead of focusing on building the most glamorous lanterns the creators tried to interpret local cultures in new ways.
The flying bamboo sprouts.
V for Vendetta, Taiwan version.
Twilight & Darkness
As the sun went down, the lanterns finally lit up.
2017 Taiwan Lantern Festival Main Lantern Lightup Show
The MaZu statue lantern.
It was funny that this religious statue was using Pacific Rim‘s soundtrack for its light display.