Taiwan Lantern Festival Lights Up the Dragon
The Taiwan Lantern Festival travels from city to city each year and is an extravaganza. This year the event took place in Lugang over fourteen days. Getting there during the event takes some planning. Transportation If you're driving, park in a lot outside of town and take the shuttle bus. It's very efficient and you'll be able to leave after the event without being delayed.
Before the big show starts in the main stadium, take the afternoon to admire the handcrafted lanterns of all shapes and sizes on display as you enter the festival. Navigate your way through the bustling streets; soak up the local culture and electric vibe. At each turn, aromas of traditional Taiwanese street food simmer through the air. You'll be shoulder to shoulder with thousands of people celebrating the Chinese New Year. Just up ahead there's a parade coming your way. Duck down a side street and take in a live musical street performance or light some incense and kneel at the alter of a Buddhist Temple. This is an adventure!
The Lugang Lantern Festival main event takes place in the Lugang stadium. The show is broadcasted live on Taiwanese television and features dancers and performances from around the world. I especially liked the performance of the traditional Japanese song "Soran Bushi" set to the Bon Dance, which captures the spirit of fisherman working together to pull in the net filled with the catch.
The festival crescendos with the lighting of the main lantern, which is designed to represent the animal of the Chinese Zodiac each year. This year it was a dragon. He stood 20 meters tall on his hind legs and looked like a stained glass "Tiffany" monster. Peter Greenberg said, "Let's light this dragon up." Smoke and fire streamed from his mouth and lasers beamed to and fro as the firework display was launched in to the air.
Official Website: http://eng.taiwan.net.tw/pda/m1.aspx?sNo=0002021