Adding exuberance to the Chinese New Year celebrations, Chiayi announced the opening of the 29th edition of Taiwan Lantern Festival on Friday here with the lighting of the lantern in the Chiayi County area.
According to the officials, the exhibition scale for this year’s festival reaches 50 hectares, making it the biggest lantern festival ever held in Taiwan.
President Tsai Ing-wen turned on the lights on Friday evening to mark the opening of the 2018 Taiwan Lantern Festival, which will run until March 11.
At a press conference here, Chou, Yung-Hui, Director General, Tourism Bureau, Ministry of Transportation and Communications here, said the festival combines technology and art.
“It will be on for 10 days and there will be water fountain show and light show. Also, the lantern area features a tree of life inspired by Indian tapestry art, an art work made of bamboo, and a dog shaped lantern which features our culture,” he said.
He hopes visitors get a sense of local culture of Taiwan through the Lantern Festival.
“The lantern festival attracts international visitors and we are looking forward to international visitors in Chiayi too. We want to promote regional tourism,” he added.
The exhibition features the main lantern (Nature-born Loyalty), which depicts an indigenous child with Taiwanese dog portraying the theme of loyal auspiciousness.
It depicts not only the zodiac animal of the year but also includes a Taiwan indigenous child waving so that spectators can feel if the child is greeting them and sending them good wishes with a smile.
The designs incorporate folk culture and are aimed at giving people a new sensory experience.
According to Chang, Hwa-Kuan, Magistrate of Chiayi County, the lanterns that are showcased are reused, with some going to exhibitions.
(Nivedita is in Taiwan on the invitation of Taiwan Tourism Bureau. She can be contacted at [email protected])