Check out the most stunning images from this year’s Taiwan Lantern Festival, held in the fishing province of Pingtung—for the first time in 30 years!
WRITTEN AND PHOTOGRAPHED BY BY JAMILLE DOMINGO
One thing almost everyone can agree on is how Taiwan pays homage to its culture. This year, the world got to see once again the beauty of the country’s heritage—through Taiwan Lantern Festival 2019.
However, this year’s Taiwan Lantern Festival—which is also the occasion’s 30th year—is not like any others in the past. For one, it’s held in the county of Pingtung, which is known for its fishing culture. The main lantern is also revolutionary, as it is not based on any Chinese Zodiac animal. It’s based on a bluefin tuna, which Pingtung’s Donggang town is famous for.
Approximately 16,000 lanterns were lit up during the festival, presented in so many colorful ways, and in so many of the styles that make up Pingtung’s character. Not only were the guests able to feast their eyes on all colors, they also got to learn more about the county’s culture and history. No wonder the festival is always dubbed as “Disneyland without roller coasters.”
GIANT TUNA BRINGING WEALTH
Pingtung’s Donggang Village is famous for its bluefin tuna catch, a reason it is the main lantern of this year’s festival. Towering 16 meters and boasting 12 million pixels, the blue tuna main lantern symbolizes prosperity and wealth in the years to come. The best part? It’s now a permanent display at the town’s Dapeng Bay.
LIGHT-UP PEACE OF PINGTUNG
Inspired by the historic landmark Hengchun South Gate, this installation was made using Taiwan’s traditional paper cutting art. At the front, you can see art creations showing Wang Ye worshipping (the town’s religion), three Donggang delicacies, and a cross-sea bridge that symbolizes a peaceful co-existence between nature and man.
The main lantern is not the only place where you can see a lit replica of the famous bluefin tuna. Situated on a plaza of Dapeng Bay, you can see a light set that looks like the fish, set against blue ocean waves. The people of Donggang have so many stories to tell about their famous fish, and they are telling it in the brightest way possible.
UNDER THE SEA
Pingtung is famous for its fishing culture and the seas, a reason why the festival has dedicated a massive area just to showcase their vibrant ocean scene. Inside the installation, a flourishing coral reefs sanctuary (Silver Coral Reefs Shine in New Year) is situated. This set offers a dazzling visual experience, as it changes colors every time you touch it.
Nearby is a section dedicated to purple striped jellyfish (Purple Gas from the East Brings Wealth), to inspire everyone to remember the treasures of the sea.
At the end of the installation are lanterns based on a turtle (Lucky Turtle Brings Prosperity and Good Fortune) and a flounder (Flounder Dances with Spring Wind).
INTEGRATION FOR YOU AND ME
This 15-meter steel architecture, shaped like the town’s Goddess of the Sea, is made from dry oyster shells and is generated by multi-frequency sound waves. It symbolizes the power and beauty of cultural diversity, as well as the new immigrants that live harmoniously in Taiwan.
This light set takes inspiration from the colorful Liudui culture of the Hakka people. The installation features the way of life of the Hakka villages of Pingtung, and incorporates interactive displays to showcase the festive atmosphere of the Hakka culture.
TECHNOLOGY COMPANY, SUSTAINABLE PINGTUNG
This installation highlights local elements with corporate features, building a sustainable theme park out of the bay area’s lighted environment. This light set showcases Pingtung’s culture in a modern way.
OTHER COLORFUL CREATIONS
Thousands of lanterns had beautifully lit up Pingtung’s Dapeng Bay area, and guests were spoilt for choice over what to feast their eyes on. Aside from the installations mentioned, other creations also made waves during the festival. There’s the tunnel of lights, pig-inspired lanterns (a way to commemorate the year of the pig), lanterns in the shape of mountain apple (a fruit abundant in Taiwan), and other colorful ones that depict the town’s locals and traditions.