Lantern Festival lights up
By Wen Shin Kuo, The China PostThe Lantern Festival, also known as Yuanxiao Jieh (元宵節), is celebrated on the 15th day of the first month on the lunar calendar. Held in a different place every year, this year's Lantern Festival will unfold in Hsinchu County from Feb. 24 to March 10. Various events are also to unfold in locations across Taiwan.
February 22, 2013, 6:25 pm TWN
The incredible celebration will be brightly lit up with a kaleidoscopic display of lanterns, which range from cute lanterns dangling from sticks that children can carry around with them, to humongous LED-lit structures the size of buses displayed in large venues. This year's event anticipates more than 10 million visitors.
In celebration of the Year of the Snake in the Chinese zodiac calendar, the Hsinchu Lantern Festival theme honors the snake, the centerpiece of which will be the magnificent master lantern named the “Soaring Snake,” symbolizing the hopes of a prosperous year with the vivid image of a snake soaring up into the clouds above. Another spotlight of the Lantern Festival is superstar girl band S.H.E, who are the spokespersons for the event.
Originating approximately during the Han Dynasty (202 B.C.-A.D. 220), the Lantern Festival is the celebration which marks the fantastic finish to the two-week-long celebration of the Lunar New Year.
On the 15th day of the first month of the lunar calendar, streets are overwhelmed with the warm glow of red lanterns decorated on buildings. Bigger, more elaborate designs of lanterns gather in larger venues in a festive celebration in many parts of mainland China and Taiwan.