The best time of the year to hop on a Taiwan shore excursion to Taipei is the time during the Pingxi Sky Lantern Festival.

Significance

One of the best festivals in the world.
Among several festivals around the world, the Pingxi Festival is really worth a visit by being listed in the “14 Festivals to attend before you die” according to Fodor, considered as “the Second Biggest New Year Eve celebration in the world” by Discovery Channel, and joining in the festival is one of “52 Things to Do” by CNN.Pingxi Lantern Festival 2018 2019

History

The sky lantern was invented since 200s during the Three Kingdoms period aiming to transfer the military messages. In the old difficult time, some villagers had to pack up and hide deep in the mountain, waiting till the spring come with chances to harvest again, only strong men can stay to protect their house. After the draconic winter, the men would release lanterns to the sky as a sign to lead villagers coming back their home. This practice happens every year, then in the early 19th century, the Lantern Festival has already been held annually on 15 days in the first month of the lunar calendar when spring planting season begins. In 2018, the festival will be held on March 2nd at the Shifen Sky Lantern Square.Pingxi Lantern Festival

Spiritual Meaning

In the festival, people light up the lanterns with candles, then release them into the dark sky at the night. Taiwanese believe that writing their wishes on these lanterns will bring an abundant crop while married women wish for “adding a son” to increase more hands working on the farm. The lanterns will follow the wind, rise up to the sky to carry the wishes of prayers seeking the purification of their souls, not only formally telling the invocations for smooth childbearing and plentiful harvests, but also alternatively speak all dreams them that being blessed with luck and good things. Pingxi Festival undoubtedly reveals the Taiwan spirit to the whole world.Pingxi Sky Lantern Festival

Special Features

Besides the meaningful purpose, the festival also provides a breathtaking sight with fascinated light shows, live music concerts, and huge bright shining lanterns. Marvel at thousands of flaming flying lanterns standing out the black background of dark sky at the later night like an ocean of hot-air balloon with glitter effect. Don’t quickly think that these paper lanterns can be burnt immediately by the heat of combustible element attached to the underside. With the special design, the heat only can make them fly high without any concern about catching the fire.

Under the beautiful sky full of glossy lanterns, enjoy the folk performances of dancing, singing, street carnivals and playing traditional games. Joining in the lantern riddle contests which are the most featured in the downtown of Taipei. The flame of everything combine into one is magical, fantastic, magnificent, and unimaginable that no word can describe its beauty.Cool Pingxi Lantern Festival

Releasing the Lanterns

Asia Shore Excursions would like to recommend the guide that you may need before enjoying the Pingxi sky lantern festival:
1. Check the lantern carefully in case of any external damage; the lantern cannot fly if the heated air leaking out.
2. Remember to write your wish on the lanterns.
3. Take a piece of oil-soaked joss paper and hook it to the wire piece at the bottom of the lantern.
4. Gently pull the lantern to open to sure that all four upper corners are fully open. Some should also hold the lantern at the bottom to provide enough heated air enters the lantern to push it upwards.