Monday, July 30, 2012

Sky Lantern Festival - Taiwan.

Sky Lantern Festival - Taiwan.
 Every Chinese New Year (mid-January to mid-February depending on the lunar calendar), thousands of revelers descend upon Pingxi, a small township nestled among the mountains in northeastern Taipei County, an hour’s drive from Taipei. During the celebration, between 100,000-200,000 lanterns are launched.

Lantern launching began in the region when the Han settled there. There was much crime in the area so lanterns were released to let others know they were safe. It eventually evolved into a large-scale lantern festival when the area’s coal mines closed in the late twentieth century and the villagers needed a new source of income.
During the Pingxi Sky Lantern Festival, stalls selling paper lanterns, miniature toy lanterns, food and fireworks line the streets. At night, hundreds of lanterns are simultaneously launched from a school field and visitors can buy their own lanterns. Before launching the lanterns, which cost NT$100-NT$200 (US$3.25-US$6.50), people can pick the lantern color and write their wisheson the lantern. Sparklers are an option add-on. It is believed the wishes are sent to heaven and bring luck in the New Year.

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