2018 Taipei Lantern Festival
Top 10 Attractions at Taipei Lantern Festival
Haven't visited Ximen and Beimen last weekend? This weekend might be your last chance to catch a glimpse of the beauty of the city lit up with lanterns! Had a visit already? Then check out the list of top attractions and surprises to see if you have missed out any.
Top 10 Attractions at Taipei Lantern FestivalBy Department of Information and Tourism
What is your dream for the New Lunar Year? What wishes did you make? What kind of happiness are you looking for?
Here's the theme of 2018 Taipei Lantern Festival: Dreams, Wishes, Happiness and Love.
The style of the Taipei Lantern Festival in the Year of the Dog is slightly different from last year’s festival led by the Chick-Fiesta. This year, more elements reflect the dreams and wishes of the young generation, in hopes of sharing the positive energy and happiness with all visitors, and bringing people closer together through various festive activities.
The Commissioner of the Department of Information and Tourism, Si-Yu Chen, said, “In recent large-scale festivals, we have witnessed the power of the young generation, and the Taipei Universiade last year increased this power to a new level. This year at the Taipei Lantern Festival, we will continue to fuel the young creative energy, bringing young designers, contemporary artworks and new activities to connect with young people! Ximending (西門町) has always been the most popular place among the youth and, as the confluence of fashion and tradition, it makes a fantastic venue for the Lantern Festival.”
2018 Taipei Lantern Festival Lantern Area Map
What attractions can we expect at the 2018 Taipei Lantern Festival? The Department has compiled a list of the top 10 attractions and invites you to check them out:
1. Ximen X Beimen Twin Venues: Ximen Performance Area
This year the main lantern Happy Magical Dogs sits in front of the Ximen Red House. "The three dogs in a circle" give an enchanting light show every thirty minutes during 19:00-21:30 at weekdays, or 19:00-22:00 at weekends. If you haven't caught a glimpse of their charm yet, go visit the Ximen Performance Area before 5th March!
The 2018 Taipei Lantern Festival has opened on Feb. 24th; every night since then, the main lantern “Happy Magical Dogs” presents a brilliant light show at 30 minute intervals
2. Ximen X Beimen Twin Venues: Beimen Performance Area
The brand new Beimen Plaza plays an important role at the Taipei Lantern Festival. The light show starts at 7PM every night with live performances that tell the history of Taipei City through physical and virtual effects. On the other side of the plaza, the Universiade Flame Cauldron revives the glory of Taipei through lighting, presenting to the public the perfect synergy of Taiwanese art crafts and mechanical technology. Around the plaza, visitors will be able to see 20 dog-shaped lanterns making different "movements" as the lights change, including chasing, running, playing and jumping.
20 Taiwanese Dog lanterns placed around Beimen Plaza
3. Realize Dreams and Happiness
In the New Year, people make wishes and hope to realize their dreams. The “Ximen Gate Battlements” in the Blessings Lantern Area recreates the image of the old Ximen (Baocheng Gate). Visitors are able to write down their wishes and the blessings for Taiwan on the blessing cards and hang them up on the battlements. The “Hundred landscapes of Taiwan” designed by paper artist Johan Cheng will also be presented on two giant Children Blessing Lanterns.
This year, the Taipei Lantern Festival has prepared another surprise for visitors. Want to "catch'em all?" This year, the Lantern Festivel has integrated the popular mobile augmented reality game Pokemon Go. Don’t miss out your chance to catch the rarest monster at Ximending!
Ximen Gate Battlements at the Blessings Lantern Area recreate the image of the old Ximen (Baocheng Gate).
4. Time-Travel through History
With the completion of restoration of Beimen Plaza and other historic landmarks from the Japanese Colonial Era including “Railway Department”, “Taipei Post Office”, “Osaka Trading Company”, “Mitsui Warehouse” and the Qing Rule “Futai Street Mansion” and the “Machine Bureau,” the revitalized historical buildings with Beimen at center stage and the light show create a time-travel drama for days and nights.
Ximen Gate Battlements recreate the image of the old Ximen city wall. Even though the Ximen Gate was the earliest gate to be demolished, it was magnificent at the time. The destruction of the gate has long made its history forgotten over the years. Yet thanks to the efforts made by designers, the Taipei Lantern Festival leads us back to old Ximen city wall of over a century ago.
In the Freestyle Creativity Area, paper artist Johan Cheng and inmates from Taipei Prison have together created “Back to the Era of Lanterns”, two paper artworks depicting old-time street scenes from eastern Taipei and western Taipei, respectively. Together, they form a piece of landscape art that reminds us of carrying lanterns in time past and has the flavor of a trip back in time.
5. Power of Youth
This year, the design team of the Lantern Festival is almost entirely made up of young people who have irrigated their creativity and energy to the traditional festival, transforming it into a celebration along the historical blocks of Taipei.
6. Street Music Hall
Last year, the Taipei Lantern Festival turned Ximending into a “Street Theater”; this year, A-Fu (阿福), the artistic coordinator of the 2018 Taipei Lantern Festival, and also the leader of the indie band Sodagreen (蘇打綠), has turned Ximending into a big “Street Music Hall”. A-Fu said that the performance at the opening ceremony will be spectacular, and so will the performances and shows scheduled in every lantern area.
Interactive elements have become an integral part of urban living, a phenomenon evident in recent large events where innovative installations have made public interactions more and more interesting. This year at the Lantern Festival, visitors are invited to light up the lantern “One Encounter, One Chance” at the City Art Museum Area. In the same area, visitors can also interact with the lantern “Lucky Dog Traffic Lights” and enjoy the different performances as the lights change. The designer of “Back to the Era of Lanterns” at the Freestyle Creativity Area encourages visitors to walk into the lantern and interact with it. The “Yi Ching Ge” lantern mobile float merges local tattoo and graffiti culture and traditional folk art.
8. Check-In hotspots
Since the most popular social activity among the young generation is to “take pictures, check in and upload,” perfect places for Instagram photos are a must. The Lantern Festival design team has set up multiple check-in hotspots in different lantern area. A recommendation list of the best photo-taking spots includes the Lantern of Wings and the Lantern of Flashlights by Exit 1 at MRT Beimen Station, the 20 Taiwanese Dog lanterns at Beimen Plaza, the Lantern Street, the Rescued Animals Art Lanterns and the main lantern Happy Magical Dogs. In addition, hints on hidden check-in hotspots given by the Department suggest more exciting happenings will take place at Nishi Honganji temple, the opening ceremony, the street parade and the mass lighting event.
The Lantern Street will certainly be one of the hottest check-in spots at the Lantern Festival.
9. Lantern Festival of the World
Last year, the Friendly Exchange Area became unexpectedly popular among visitors without much media attention. The success was so remarkable, a few of the diplomatic offices expressed their interest in participating right after the last Lantern Festival. This year, Hirosaki (Japan), Matsuyama (Japan), Kobe (Japan), Shanghai (China), Daegu (South Korea), the Netherlands, Sultanate of Oman, along with Saint Kitts and Nevis are all celebrating together and adding to the festival’s exotic atmosphere. Visitors are able to experience traveling around the world simply by visiting the Lantern Festival. The charm of the lanterns have also attracted many tourists from abroad to Taipei, who have come to see the city in a new light.
10. Charity and Care
At the Lantern Festival, artworks with charitable and caring elements can be found everywhere. The recycled milk powder can lanterns of “Reborn with Goodness” were created by kids from TFCF. The “Rescued Animals Art Lanterns” focus on rescued animals represented by a hundred painted lanterns. The light show of the main lantern “Happy Magical Dogs” also sheds light to the issue of rescued animals. The paper art “Back to the Era of Lanterns” was created by a local artist in collaboration with Taipei Prison inmates, providing them opportunities to participate in a public event.
The original article is provided by the Department of Information and Tourism, Taipei City Government under the title "Top 10 Attractions of the 2018 Taipei Lantern Festival."