The Lantern Festival, also known as the Yuanxiao Festival is a festival celebrated on the fifteenth day of the first month in the lunisolar calendar, the last day of the Chinese New Year celebration. It is commonly regarded as one of the most important and romantic festivals in Taiwan. The festival is celebrated with lantern making and displays of lanterns along with big firework displays. The main event, hosted in a different town or city every year, was hosted in Lukang, a small town in Changhua county, Taiwan. Many other events were held all over Taiwan such as the Sky Lantern Festival in PingXi, It was estimated that over 5 million people from all over the country attended the festival in lukang which lasted a week. On the opening day, performers from Japan held a parade through the streets of Lukang along with a number of other festivities. The President Ma Ying Jeou camt to welcome the opening of the festival, light the huge dragon lantern and start the opening fireworks display.
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Origins of the Lantern festival in Taiwan
Following the adviser's advice, the emperor ordered Yuan-Xiao along with every household to make tangyuan (sweet dumplings) to worship the God of Fire. At the same time every house in the city should hang red lanterns and explode fire crackers on the fifteenth lunar day. Lastly, everyone in the palace and people outside the city should carry their lanterns on the street to watch the lantern decorations and fireworks. The Jade Emperor would be deceived and everyone would avoid the disastrous fire. Yuan-Xiao's parents went into the palace and were reunited with their daughter. Since Yuan-Xiao cooked the best tangyuan, people called the day Yuan-Xiao Festival.
Japanese parade walking on stilts through the crowd
The Dragon Show
One of the many lanterns on display