As the first full moon rises on the 15th day of the first lunar month, it marks the official end to Lunar New Year festivities and the beginning of the Yuan Xiao Festival (also known as the Lantern Festival). On this day, people in Taiwan celebrate the festival by making lanterns to brighten the night and they also attend Lantern Festival events.
In celebrating the Year of the Rabbit, this year’s Lantern Festival was held in Zhunan, Miaoli County, from February 17 to 28, with over 7.5 million people attending. The festival has grown and continues to attract more overseas visitors. In fact, the Discovery Channel was so taken with Taiwan’s Lantern Festival that it featured it in its “Fantastic Festivals of the World” program, selecting Taiwan’s Lantern Festival as one of the world’s best festivals.
The main theme for the Miaoli Lantern Festival was the “Auspicious Jade Rabbit” which conveyed the good wishes of the “Jade Rabbit Blessings of Fortune and Prosperity in the New Year.” The Jade Rabbit lantern measures 20.5-meters high and weighs 30 metric tons. The displays used innovative holograms developed by the Industrial Technology Research Institute (ITRI). The bulk of the exhibition was created by eco-friendly LED lights coupled with digitally controlled effects.
To see some of this year’s exhibits, please scroll through the pictures from last month’s Lantern Festival.
Photo courtesy of the Taiwan Tourism Bureau.