Northern Taiwan’s Less Traditional Lantern Festival


The National lantern festival is in Zhubei, this year.  The lantern festival is a traditional holiday that occurs two weeks after Chinese New Year.

There are actually two things of importance that take place on the Lantern Festival day. There is the traditional release of sky lanterns in Pingxi, in Northeastern Taiwan.  People write a prayer or a blessing on the outside of the lantern and release it into the sky.
These lanterns usual are a bag with a cross piece on the bottom where a candle is placed.  The candle is lit and the air in the bag heated causing it to rise up into the sky.   They will continue to rise until the candle goes out and the air is no longer heated. The lanterns are released simultaneously and thousands on lanterns rise into the sky, it’s quite a site and Pingxi is famous all over the world for the lanterns.
But there is the other festival where lanterns are created but not released into the sky.  My wife had an opportunity, this year, to take the train with a number of her friends and visit the National Lantern festival in Zhubei, in Northern Taiwan.




























Photo Credit:  Brenda Banducci

Chris Banducci
Chris Banducci is a pastor and missionary in Taiwan. He has, at other times of his life, been a white-water rafter, rock climber and adventurer. He left the corporate world of Solid Waste Recycling in 1996 and went into full-time ministry, where he pioneered a church in Riverside, California for the Potter’s House Christian Fellowship and is now engaged in the same endeavor in Taoyuan City, Taiwan. He writes on the culture, religion, tradition, and day-to-day life in Taiwan. Twenty-six years of living with Muscular Dystrophy may have weakened his muscles but not his spirit.
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