Thursday, February 16, 2012

Taiwan Lantern Festival

The Chinese Lantern Festival is held on the 15th day of the first month of the lunar year.  This year, it fell on February 6th.  Chinese New Year was officially January 23rd (remember.... I went to the Philippines???), and 15 days later is February 6th.  That’s your math lesson for today.
Here in Taiwan, the national festival is celebrated for two weeks in a different city each year.  This year, it was in Lugang, a city in Changhua County.  Lucky for me, I have a couple friends living in Changhua!
After a short bus ride from Changhua to Lugang, my friends and I walked around the (very) crowded streets of Lugang, decorated with lanterns like nobody’s business.  


Lanterns, lanterns, everywhere!

Wonder what the city paid for electricity during the festival...


2012 is the Year of the Dragon, so most of the lanterns had a dragon theme. 

Dragon lantern 
Mario coin dragon??

Scarier than King Kong


We wandered around town, snaking our way from lantern display to lantern display.  We decided to take a break in a courtyard near the city stadium, so we sat down on some benches.  At just that moment, a fireworks show began -- all around us!  We were right in the middle of the show, with fireworks shooting off from the tops of four building in front of us and to our left and right.  I didn’t know which way to look! 

Kind of blurry, but you get the idea
Next, we headed into the stadium to see the HUGE dragon lantern, the main attraction of the festival.  Thousands of people were packed into the arena to see the dragon light show.  

Our legs and eyes were exhausted from all the walking and millions of lights.  But our journey was not over!  We found our way to the line for the bus back to Changhua..... where we stood for the next two hours!  At least we had a nice view of the deer lantern, in honor of the city of Lugang, which translates to “deer harbor.” 

Oh, deer!
There must have been a million people waiting for the buses to various destinations away from Lugang.  But the lines were quite orderly, and in true Taiwanese laid-back form, no one was angry or outraged at the extended waiting time.  Check out this little clip of the lines moving towards the buses.  Oh, by the way, we had already waited about an hour and a half before we got to this point..... 

Another wonderful adventure in beautiful Taiwan!  

I heart Taiwan! 
Even the dinosaurs agree

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