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Nantou craftsmanship on show at Lantern Festival

TAIPEI--For its turn hosting the annual Taiwan Lantern Festival, the central county of Nantou is putting local craftsmanship on the center stage starting with a soft opening today.

The annual festival, which partially opens Friday and will be in full swing Feb. 14-23, will integrate pottery, stonework, and bamboo and glass arts from 20 artisans into the lantern displays, said Nantou's acting magistrate Chen Chih ching.

The mountainous county — the only landlocked county in Taiwan —is aiming to promote its rich culture and local crafts through the event, he said.

As with years past, the festival's centerpiece will be a massive lantern based on the Chinese zodiac.

This year's main lantern is a towering 23-meter-tall, 30-ton horse to mark the arrival of the Year of the Horse.

Illuminated from the inside by 200,000 LEDs, it is the tallest main lantern ever to be featured at the Taiwan Lantern Festival.

The main lantern will be lit Feb. 14 to mark the day of the Yuanxiao Festival, while the festival will also include parades, performances and other activities, the county said.

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