Taiwan Day 161: When Lanterns Shine Bright - Feb. 8, 2014 | Travel in Asia

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Taiwan Day 161: When Lanterns Shine Bright - Feb. 8, 2014

#5yearsinTaiwan

With temperatures going down to 14 °C and with a cold drizzle the 2014 Taipei Lantern Festival never fails to amaze everyone. The lanterns were installed in Taipei Expo Park and it was my second time here. My first time here was in Taiwan Day 127 when I saw the blossoming flowers of the 2014 Taipei Flower Expo.

I did not expect that there would be too many people in this Lantern Festival. As people stepped out of the trains in MRT Yuanshan Station all we said was 'WOW!'. Portions of the MRT Tamsui Line were elevated and the Yuanshan Station can gave you a top view of Taipei Expo Park and I estimated the number of people that night to be 5x to 10x the number of people when I first visited the area. Maybe all the people in Taipei went there to see the colorful lanterns.

Based on what I read from newspapers and articles on the internet the Lantern Festival is usually celebrated every 15th day of the first month of the Lunar New Year and the festival indicates the end of the Chinese New Year celebration. It also symbolizes the promise of a better weather from a cold winter to a warm spring.

The lanterns in Taipei Expo Park will be there until Feb. 16. I have decided to went that night because I checked the website of the Central Weather Bureau (CWB) and it said that there will be more precipitation on Feb. 9. CWB was right since as of this writing there were more droplets of rain today than last night.

Since there were too many people it was difficult to ask them to take pictures of me with the lanterns. I just content myself by taking pictures of the lanterns. The lanterns have different themes some were historical, others were about toys and don't forget the colorful horses. Entrance was free and just go to http://2014taipeilanternfestival.com/ if you want to know more about the lanterns that I saw.

I really want to have a picture with a lantern and I made a wish that night. "I wish it will rain so that many people would go home", I said. At around 10pm, it started to rain. Many people could not enjoy viewing the lanterns anymore. Couples, families with little children, old people with wheelchairs headed back home. It was a grand exodus. lol

After the mass exodus I asked some Taiwanese to take me some pictures and I just noticed that some of the pictures were dark and I realized that I should have deactivated the 'Intelligent Auto' and chose the 'Program Auto' wherein my camera would always beam a flash.

Hay! A learning experience indeed. I will still have another chance on Valentine's Day when I visit New Taipei City's Pingxi District not to look for love but to see their famous sky lantern festival. It will be another exciting travel experience since wishes come true when lanterns shine bright!

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