By Katie May
Taiwan is famous for being a beautiful island nation in East Asia since its rich culture, stunning landscapes, and unique traditions. Among its many cherished customs, the mesmerizing sky lantern festival stands out as a symbol of hope, unity, and celebration. Sky lanterns, also known as "Kongming lanterns," have a long history in Taiwan and have become an iconic part of its festivals.
In this article, we will provide all of the information that you need to know about the Pingxi Sky Lantern Festival so that you can make the most of your visit. We will cover everything from when it is held to what to do around town!
Everything You Need to Know about The Pingxi Sky Lantern Festival
What Is The Pingxi Sky Lantern Festival?
The Pingxi Sky Lantern Festival has been hosted in New Taipei City since 1999. The sky lanterns have gained a significant global reputation for Taiwan as a result of collaborative public-private efforts. International media outlets such as Fodor's, National Geographic, and The Huffington Post have covered the event.
What Are Sky Lanterns Made of?
The lanterns are composed of paper and bamboo and are illuminated by a tiny candle or paraffin-soaked paper. When lighted, the lanterns float away into the sky, producing a spectacular spectacle. Sky Lanterns have been around since the Qing Dynasty. Pingxi was a remote but prosperous area of early Taipei at the time, but with prosperity came hazards. Pingxi was often a target for robbers, thus, the residents of Pingxi would seek sanctuary in the mountains. Sky lanterns would be flown in the air to communicate that it was safe for them to return.
The Pingxi Sky Lantern Festival has been hosted in New Taipei City since 1999
What Does Sky Lantern Symbolize?
The Lantern Festival represents optimism, peace, and fresh beginnings. In Southeast Asian culture, traditional crimson lanterns represent prosperity and good fortune. The sky lantern is the focal point of the Pingxi Lantern Festival; without it, there would be no festival to enjoy. The Pingxi Lantern Festival may also be traced back to the events that established the sky lantern as a Taiwanese cultural treasure. Sky lanterns are essentially small hot air balloons. They're composed of paper and have a wire structure for the fire that raises the lantern.
Lantern Festival Taiwan Timeline
- 25 — 220 A.D: Lanterns are Made With Wood
The very first lanterns are made with bamboo and wheat straw frames.
- 618 — 907 A.D: Launching Lanterns in the Sky Becomes Common
Releasing lanterns becomes a common ritual in Southeast Asia.
- 690 — 705 A.D: Paper Lanterns Become Popular
The Chinese started using paper to make lanterns.
- 1821: The Sky Lantern Appears in Pingxi's Skies
The Pingxi villagers start using sky lanterns as a signal of safety after bandit attacks.
- 1990: The Sky Lantern Becomes a Local Celebration
The Tourism Bureau turns the practice of releasing sky lanterns into an annual event for the lantern festival.
- 2013: Pingxi Lantern Festival is a Global Phenomenon
Fodor’s, a renowned travel guide company, includes Pingxi Lantern Festival in its 15 Festivals To Attend Before You Die.
Things to Do During Taiwan's Sky Lantern Festival for Visitors
1. Writing your heart's desires on Sky Lantern
A key highlight of the Pingxi Sky Lantern Festival is the act of writing wishes and aspirations on the lanterns before releasing them into the night sky. Visitors and locals alike take advantage of the chance to write their dreams, wishes, and prayers on the lantern's thin rice paper surface. It is a highly intimate and thoughtful activity that allows individuals to express their deepest goals and connect with the great heritage.
A highlight of the Pingxi Sky Lantern Festival is writing wishes on lanterns before the release
2. Uniting spirits through Sky Lantern flight
Anticipation reaches its peak as the long-awaited moment draws near. With a group of eager participants, you stand together, eagerly anticipating the magical instant when your lantern will take flight. The air is electric as a collective countdown commences, and as you set your lantern free, a wave of emotions washes over you. Watching your lantern rise gracefully, joining countless others in the starlit sky, evokes an ineffable sense of unity and shared wonder that transcends ordinary description.
3. Witnessing the Lantern parade
The Lantern Parade is one of the festival's most anticipated attractions, a spectacle that elevates the enchantment to a whole new level. Elaborate, larger-than-life lantern floats covered with complex decorations and bright lights float gently through the streets, enthralling everyone who comes into contact with them. The procession highlights the creative talents of local towns and gives a sense of grandeur to the celebrations.
The Lantern Parade is one of the festival's most anticipated attractions
4. Joining in cultural performances and fireworks
The festivities continue into the night with enthralling cultural acts. Visitors will be able to participate in traditional dances, melodious music, and fascinating performances by bright local artists who will fill the stage, capture the audience's attention, and immerse them in Taiwan's cultural tapestry. And, as if dusted with fairy dust, the sky comes alive with a spectacular fireworks show, weaving a spell and providing a beautiful climax to this really extraordinary occasion.
On the other sides, travelers can read out the related posts for joining the Taiwan Holidays during the year. Don't be afraid of the weather because we've already got you back with a complete weather guide for each season of Taiwan. Just take it!
5. Savoring local delights at night markets
The Sky Lantern Festival transcends mere lanterns; it blossoms into a kaleidoscope of colors, flavors, and joyous moments! As the festivities unfold, the lively night markets come alive, offering a delightful array of sensory delights. Taste the tantalizing flavors of Taiwanese street food, from the savory allure of stinky tofu to the delectable indulgence of oyster omelets. Lose yourself in the vibrant ambiance, perusing through a treasure trove of unique handicrafts, and take a piece of the festival's enchantment home with you.
Let's try delightful street food and unique handicrafts at lively night markets
Unraveling The Spectacle Of Pingxi Sky Lantern Festival 2023
How is the Taiwanese Pingxi Lantern Festival celebrated?
The Pingxi Lantern Festival takes place in Taipei's Pingxi neighborhood. The festival lasts three days or one week, with the major event taking place on the night of the first full moon of the Lunar New Year. On that night, residents and tourists from other countries release sky lanterns with their dreams and wishes written on them into the sky.
When Will The Pingxi Sky Lantern Festival 2023 Take Place?
In 2023, the official date of the festival is set for February 5th, during which the majority of lanterns will be released into the night sky. Nevertheless, the festivities, including night markets and sky lantern releases, extend for a period of up to two weeks.
How to Get Sky Lantern Festival Tickets?
As the Pingxi Sky Lantern event's attendance expands over time, owing to the event's global recognition, the festival has evolved into a collaborative effort between the private and public sectors. Tickets to the event are free, but you must be at the Pingxi Sky Lantern site early in the morning to obtain one. If you choose to release a lantern, the tickets will also specify a time and location where you may do so. If you have a large travel party, just divide the group into fours.
That's all there is to it! Everything you need to know about the Pingxi Sky Lantern Festival in Taiwan in a nutshell! Make sure your tickets, accommodations, and transportation are all booked and ready! For quick and simple processing to apply for a Taiwan visa, visit Taiwan Immigration Services today, we assist you 24/7!