The night of the first full moon of the lunar year is a very special occasion for the people of Taiwan. It marks the grand finale of the Chinese New Year celebrations and the arrival of Spring. The event is celebrated each year in spectacular style with the world-renowned Lantern Festival, February 19 – March 3, 2019. Featuring everything from handheld children’s paper lanterns to gigantic floats bedecked in lights, this festival is one of the most popular events in the Taiwanese calendar, and it’s easy to see why.
The 2019 Taiwan Lantern Festival officially opens on February 19 in Donggang Village, Pingtung County in the Dapeng Bay National Scenic Area. This year’s Taiwan Lantern Festival will be its 30th anniversary, and it will be filled with innovations and new styles. This is the first time the Taiwan Tourism Bureau has located the Lantern Festival in a National Scenic Area, allowing the brilliant lanterns to shine in the south of the country.
The famous black tuna of Donggang Village is an important design theme. Organisers will leave the main theme lantern standing long after the festival is over, so that it can serve as a new landmark for Dapeng Bay.
The “little lantern” is the part of the festival most anticipated by children each year. This year, this lantern is named the "2019 Pingan Pig", which is conceived of as a grandfatherly pig of the Pingtung area. The characters in “Pingan” combine words those for “Pingtung” and “Peace.” This warm-hearted pig will entertain visitors with its cute large nose, eyes and ears, and can hold 2,019 coins.
This year, the Taiwan Lantern Festival will be integrated into the local “Grandfather Pig of the Wind” culture of Pingtung. The different sections of lanterns will also highlight Pingtung’s rich marine resources and special agricultural products. Also on full display will be the unique and beautiful scenery of Dapeng Bay, including performances of dancing water and water curtains. In addition, to make this year’s Taiwan Lantern Festival an even deeper experience for visitors, several well-known artists have been invited to display their various works in a section of the festival that will be home to 30 lanterns. This will make for a beautiful blend of the arts and local culture. Finally, organisers will also hold a “PP Pig Party” for the kids, which will include special rides and other activities in an exclusive area for children.
The 2020 Taiwan Lantern Festival will be held in Taichung City and the 2021 Taiwan Lantern Festival will be held in Hsinchu City, which has not held the Taiwan Lantern Festival previously.