2013 Lantern Festival

Aren't these lanterns cute?!
This year's Lantern Festival (上元節; shangyuanjie) was held back from the end of February to the beginning of March. The Lantern Festival signifies the official ending of Chinese New Year.  There seems to be several different stories regarding how the festival began, but I think the most important aspect of the festival is spending time with family and friends (people who bring the "light" to the new year).

In the beginning, the lanterns were simpler. Now, many of them stand several feet tall and come in all shapes and sizes from Disney characters to Angry Birds!  My friend and I took an evening to admire all the lovely lanterns around Yuanshan in Taipei.

The day my friend and I went to view the lanterns, there were so many people out because it was a holiday (2/28) so many people did not have to go to school or work.  The result?  Well...a throng of people right out of the MRT station which made it quite hard to move around the area!

The crowd coming out of the station
to attend the lantern festival.
Although it took a while, we were finally able to trudge through the people and get to where the lanterns were.  They were all impressive!

These had lasers!  So cool!
See the people crowded in the front?
It was difficult to take photos!
Since it's the year of the snake, there was
a gigantic snake lantern.
A playful display.
The one on the right was one of my favorites.
There were lanterns for all the zodiac signs.
I was born in the year of the horse!
(But Mr. Horsie looked like he had a bad perm).
A pathway decorated with lights.
Naturally, there was a Taipei 101
Children from an elementary school though of
the concept behind this lantern.
The idea for this display was also conceptualized by
elementary students.
This one was also planned by elementary school kids.
I loved the aliens!  Kids are so creative.
Another elementary school display, so adorable.
Beautiful flowers!
All in all, even with the crowds which made us want to leave early, I don't regret going to enjoy the lanterns.  They were absolutely gorgeous, I wonder what the next lantern festival has in store!


  1. Wow, those lanterns are so beautiful! Wish I could have seen them in person. :)

    1. They really were spectacular. If there weren't so many people, I would have wanted to make the effort to see them all.