The Lantern Festival is not only a time when you can admire the fancy glistening lanterns, it is a festival for all.
On the opening day every year famous Taiwanese and foreign performing groups come to put on a brilliant show. The 15th of the 1st lunar month, known as "Minor New Year," is the Lantern Festival and the tail end of New Year activities. This day is a joyful occasion for each and every family and tourists in Taiwan.
Traditionally, firecrackers and colorful fireworks are set off and hand-held lanterns or torches are lit. Amidst the noise and excitement, a picture of national prosperity and tranquility and the people enjoying themselves together is revealed.
Festive lanterns are displayed in front of every major temple since 1990, however, the Tourism Bureau planned and organized a Taiwan Lantern Festival as an international event like the Munich Oktoberfest, the Hokkaido Snow Festival, and the Brazilian Carnival that are known throughout the world.
This event is now entering its 24th year. In the early years the venue for the festival was primarily fixed at Taipei's National Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall, but in 2001 county cities began to participate in the whole event.
The Lantern Festival is not only a time when you can admire lanterns. If the gorgeous Sun Moon Lake, Taipei 101, busy markets, museums and religious sites aren’t an eyeful, you have the nature in all its bounty with mountains, beaches and theme parks - which is nothing short of a tourist's dream.
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