A beagle-inspired handheld lantern for the 2018 Lantern Festival was unveiled on Thursday, with long ears that “flap” when the lantern moves and a special belly that casts a paw-shaped shadow.
Representing the upcoming Year of the Dog in the Chinese zodiac, the lantern is designed in the shape of man’s best friend and is replete with interesting features.
The way the ears are attached to the head ensures they flap whenever the lantern is carried, said lantern designer Lin Chia-wei.
“There are also hollow cuts of paws on the dog’s belly, creating cute paw shadows on the ground,” Lin said.
The lanterns are also decorated with iconic images of Chiayi County, where the annual festival will be held from March 2-11. These include Alishan forest railway, art works from the Southern Branch of the National Palace Museum and aboriginal totems.
The lantern is named Dali, which means “robust” in mandarin and represents a good omen for the new year, said central government Tourism Bureau Director-General Chou Yung-hui.
About 100,000 lanterns will be handed out in total in front of Chiayi County government and Chiayi Bus Station from Feb. 16 to March 11, 2,000 every week day and 5,000 on Saturdays and Sundays.
In addition to handheld lanterns, there will also be a 21-meter high main lantern featuring an aboriginal child and a Taiwan Dog, which will be displayed at the venue in Taibao City.
The main lantern will feature 4D visual effects for the first time, with a special refraction cover improving light penetration by 70 percent, according to the bureau.
More than 20,000 light circuits will also enable LED lights in the lantern to show images made up of at least 12 million pixels, it added.
Furthermore, as the central-southern county is located on the Tropic of Cancer, there will be projections of latitudes and longitudes in the sky to make the event even more unique, the bureau said.
For more details about the festival, go to www.taiwan.net.tw