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2016 Taiwan Lantern Festival
About Lantern Festival

The Lantern Festival is held annually on the 15th day of the first lunar month. It marks the grand finale of the LunarNew Year season and is celebrated with fanfare by familiesacross the country. Firecrackers, fireworks, hand lanternsand torches all traditionally liven up the festivities as people welcome the New Year in a spirit of peace,prosperity and joy.
In earlier times, the main temples of Taipei—Guangdu Temple in Beitou, Ciyou Temple in Songshan and Qingshan Temple and Longshan Temple in Wanhua—all hosted decorative lantern displays during the Lantern Festival. To spare people the trouble of shuttling between the various temples, in 1989, the Minister of Transportation and Communications Clement C.P. Chang instructed Tourism Bureau Director General Mao Chi-kuo to consolidate the separate temple lantern displays into a single annual event.

Before this time, the Lantern Festival had been quickly fading from the consciousness in Taiwan's busy and commercial society. To reverse this trend, and bring back the festive air of the occasion, the Tourism Bureau planned the first large-scale festival on the 15th day of the first Lunar month, aiming to create a unique world-class event on par with the Munich Oktoberfest in Germany, Hokkaido Snow Festival, and Brazil's Carnival, to attract international visitors. Since that time, the Lantern Festival held annually by the Tourism Bureau has become a highlight event in Taiwan during the Lunar New Year holiday.
The Tourism Bureau held the first Lantern Festival in 1990. This year, the event enters its 27th year. Each year, the festival features a Main Theme Lantern based on the Chinese zodiac animal for the new years. This is complemented by secondary lanterns and areas highlighting different decorative lantern themes, such as the Blessing Lantern Area and Joyous Lantern Area. The event opens with performances by well-known local and international performance groups.


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