Why You Should Attend the Taiwan Lantern Festival in 2017

If you're traveling to Taiwan in 2017, click to read why you should attend the Taiwan Lantern Festival! | http://passportandplates.com

Disclosure: This post is sponsored by the Taiwan Tourism Board All opinions are my own. Special thanks to the Taiwan Tourism Board for providing images for this post.

Ever since I first saw Disney’s Tangled #dontjudgeme, I’ve dreamed of attending a lantern festival. I even put it on my bucket list earlier this year. The closest I ever came to fulfilling my dream was when I attended the mid-Autumn festival in Singapore earlier this year, but there weren’t any floating lanterns in sight.

I’d always known that there was a lantern festival in Thailand. However, I’ve heard that in recent years it has become incredibly crowded and overrun with tourists. Sad times.

But, don’t fret, guys. Taiwan has been low-key holding its own lantern festival this whole time! How did I not know this?

So if you’re anything like me, you’re probably throwing a little happy dance and asking yourself what the details are so you can attend. Well never fear, I’ve done all the research for you! Keep reading to learn all about the Taiwan Lantern Festival and why you should attend in 2017!

 

What is it?

If you're traveling to Taiwan in 2017, click to read why you should attend the Taiwan Lantern Festival! | http://passportandplates.com

The Lantern Festival takes place every year on the first full moon of the Lunar New Year and is considered one of the most important festivals in Taiwan. There are many origin stories to the festival, but the most well-known version is that it originates from farmers celebrating the coming of spring and longer daylight hours. I definitely consider the end of cold weather something worth celebrating!

Although there are many smaller lantern festivals celebrated throughout Taiwan, the main one is held in a different area of Taiwan each year. Yunlin County in Western Taiwan has been selected to host in 2017 from February 11th – 19th. What I love about the 2017 location is that it’s relatively undiscovered by tourists. This gives us travelers an excellent excuse opportunity to get off the beaten path. How cool is that?

 

The Lowdown:

If you're traveling to Taiwan in 2017, click to read why you should attend the Taiwan Lantern Festival! | http://passportandplates.com

The county in charge of the main lantern festival really goes all out. 2017 will be the year of the rooster, so Yunlin County will have a gigantic rooster lantern on display. Of course, there will also be tons of other light displays, lanterns, and firecrackers to celebrate the New Year. And guys, those light displays are seriously SO spectacular. They’re huge, they light up and they make the entire area look magical. I included a video of last year’s lantern show because pictures just don’t do it justice.

It’s not a festival without entertainment, so the Lantern Festival also includes fun events like live performances, arts and crafts, and lots of delicious snacks. This is SO my kind of party.

 

The Pingxi Flying Lanterns:

If you're traveling to Taiwan in 2017, click to read why you should attend the Taiwan Lantern Festival! | http://passportandplates.com

So, along with the amazing display that is The Lantern Festival in Yunlin, there’s another small town that specializes solely in sky lanterns. Cue happy dance. While the Lantern Festival in Yunlin is a full, week-long celebration, the Pingxi Sky Lantern Festival is only a few hours on the evening of February 11th. They obviously do this so you can attend both festivals!

Pingxi is actually closer to Taipei (about an hour outside the city) and can be accessed by a special shuttle bus that will take you to and from the festival. At this festival, the main activity is to write your wishes for the next year on a lantern and launch it into the sky. The lantern launch happens nine times throughout the night, giving everyone ample opportunity to both launch a lantern and take photos. Win-win. You can find out more information about the Pingxi Sky Lantern Festival here.

 

How to get there:

The best way to get to Yunlin is to fly into Taipei then take the high-speed rail directly from Taipei Railway Station to Yunlin Station. It runs every hour and takes around 90 minutes.

For the Pingxi Festival, you can take a shuttle on the day of or take the bus or train. More info on that at the bottom of this page.

 

Although I won’t be able to attend in 2017, I am definitely adding it to the bucket list for the future. I got a bit of a sneak peek on what a lantern festival looks like earlier this year, and was absolutely blown away by the intricacy of the displays. Plus, there’s the added bonus of good food, fireworks, and cool crafts. If you haven’t been to this Lantern Festival, then make 2017 your year to go! You can find out all the information you need on Taiwan’s Tourism website. PLUS, flights (at the time of writing) are really inexpensive. What are you waiting for? Get to booking!

 

Tell me: is attending a lantern festival on your bucket list? 

 

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  • YESYESYES. I want to go there too! So many lantern festivals all around Asia, but this one truly stands out doesn’t it? I didn’t realize there was another place there that had a similar lantern fest. I’d probably add that to my bucket list just because it’s closer to the city to probably a bit easier to access and not as popular as the larger one, maybe? So beautiful though.

    • It really does! I had no idea there were so many around Asia but I love that Taiwan has both a display one and a floating lantern one. Win win. Yeah the main festival is harder to access but it would be cool to visit an off the beaten path destination too 🙂

  • Christine Tran

    The lantern festival in Asia has always been on my list! These pictures are making me want to go! I hope I make it there next year!

    • Yeah same! I just hadn’t realized that there were some outside of the one in Thailand. I hope you get a chance to go soon!

  • That looks so cool! I’ve never been to the Lantern Festival in Thailand, but now I can add another location to the list. I really like how different cultures have different wish-making tradition and practices. Here in Russia, we write down wishes on a piece of paper, then burn them and drinks ashes with champagne at midnight on NYE. I wouldn’t mind sending it into the sky with a lantern though! 😀

    • Oh that’s a really cool Russian tradition – I didn’t know that! I love seeing how different places celebrate new years although I’d take a floating lantern over American fireworks any day :p

  • Megan Claire

    his festival looks incredible – I like you have always known that there was a lantern festival in Thailand, though I almost don’t want to attend because I know it’s going to be far too overcrowded which will ruin the experience. I would love to attend the festival in Taiwan though, it sounds like everything I had hoped Thailand would be!

    • Yeah, I think part of the appeal is definitely a more local experience rather than doing it with a bunch of tourists. The Taiwan seems like an amazing option because it’s lesser known 🙂

  • JustGoPlaces

    I didn’t know there was a lantern festival in Taiwan! I have a friend who went to the one in Thailand and said it was a bit crazy especially with the kids in tow. This seems a better alternative. BTW, I loved the lantern festival scenes in Tangled too 🙂

    • Me neither! Yeah I’d love to go to this one because it’s a lesser known destination. And that scene in Tangled is magical 🙂

  • The Katie Show Blog

    Wow I feel silly because I never knew there was a lantern festival in Taiwan, but I am so glad I came across your post. I love all your pics too, it looks so magical!

  • Beautiful photographs. It is a couple of years since I have been planning to go to Taiwan during this period. I am sure there is a story being played out.

  • Gina Panozzo

    I had no idea that Taiwan had such a spectacular light show. I’m sad the ones in Thailand are overrun with tourists, but Taiwan’s seems much more fun with the live music and crafts.

    • Me neither! i’m glad I learned that Taiwan has an arguably better version – the less crowded with tourists, the better!

  • 2TravelDads

    Wow!!! This is amazing and so beautiful! Funny, I just packed up my kids to head down to Atlanta’s Chinese Lantern Festival tonight!

  • Allison Babcock

    Wow!! How cool would this be? The pictures look amazing. My kids would love it!

  • This has been on my bucket list for a long time! Such a beautiful festival!

  • FullSuitcase

    Looks incredible! Especially the lantern festival, would love to photograph it. Putting this on my list for sure. 2017 is planned already, but maybe in 2018…

  • Wow, I haven’t heard about this lantern festival in Taiwan and its pretty amazing. The colors and how they look like in general is simply interesting. I’ll surely penned this on my bucket list and hopefully I could able to visit this and be there hopefully next year.

    • Yeah I hadn’t either until very recently. It looks amazing. I hope you get a chance to visit sometime soon 🙂

  • I’m from Taiwan and have never been to a Lantern Festival! I’m so ashamed haha. Was hoping to make it to Pingxi next year but I already have some travels planned for February 11th – 2018 is going to be the year that I make it to a lantern festival in Taiwan!

    • WHAAAAT no way! I have been obsessed with the sky lantern festival for awhile now, although I recently found out about the Taiwanese one. I hope you get a chance to go in 2018!

  • Young And Undecided

    haa i am the same as you! Tangled has made me love lanterns so much ! This looks like an amazing festival to attend 🙂

  • The pictures are amazing, surely makes me want to go to Taiwan and attend this! Taipei was easy access for us when we lived in Asia but now we are quite further. Hope in 2017 we can find a way to end up there for a visit!

    • Yessss it definitely does inspire a trip to Asia, doesn’t it? Shame that you aren’t living close anymore but now you have an excuse to go back and visit!