Taiwan is world famous for its festivals which date back to thousands of years ago.
Taiwan Lantern Festival
Every year for example they hold the Taiwan Lantern Festival. This now 20 years old and takes on ideas from ancient Chinese culture. Lanterns represent dead relatives and other spirits and are released into the air or onto rivers in their thousands during the Chinese New Year and the Lunar Festival.
In the Taiwan Lantern Festival, participants parade through the streets carrying lanterns in their hands.
Taipei and Kaohsiung Lantern Festival
There is also a Taipei and Kaohsiung Lantern Festival which is celebrated as a national festival as well as a major event in both cities.
The festival takes place at the Chiang Kai-shek Memorial hall and there is even a gigantic lantern which is made to represent the current Chinese zodiac animal. During this festival the Love River is ablaze with thousands of lanterns slowly sailing out to sea.
Pingxi Sky Lantern Festival
The unique event of the Pingxi Sky Lantern Festival is when thousands of lanterns are released into the sky with some helium. The lanterns hovering through the air are beautiful to behold but have ironically contributed to many UFO sightings as well. Lanterns were used in the past in this way as warning signals to let family members know that you are safe. Today they are used as a symbol of good fortune.
Yenshui Fireworks Festival
The Taiwanese have been using fireworks and gunpowder for about 5,000 years – in fact, it was Marco Polo who brought this item back to Europe in the 15th century.
During the fire festival to the God of War in the temple in Yenshui, there is a massive fireworks display that is hard to forget if you’ve ever seen it. There is also a parade throughout the city with firecrackers being hurled day and night for several days.