2024 Taiwan Lantern Festival “Glorious Tainan”

The main lantern area of the 35th Taiwan Lantern Festival will officially be lit tonight (Lantern Festival) at 7 p.m., returning to Tainan after a 16-year hiatus. Tainan, as a former ancient capital, not only boasts historical glory but also stands as a pioneer in the future green energy trend, driving innovation as well as diverse culture, and creating a harmonious blend of tradition and modernity in this ancient city. This lantern festival features two major exhibition areas, the “High-Speed Rail Lantern Area” and the “Anping Lantern Area,” showcasing over 300 lantern art pieces. The “High-Speed Rail Lantern Area” comprises seven large exhibition zones around the high-speed rail station, displaying various themed lantern areas in addition to the main lantern “Dragon Comes to Taiwan.” The “Anping Lantern Area” is located in Lin Mo Niang Park, Anping Recreational Wharf, and along the Anping Canal, with the themes “Tainan 400” and “River of Light History.”

To welcome international visitors during the lantern festival, the Tourism Administration of the Ministry of Transportation and Communications invites all international independent travelers who visit the 2024 Taiwan Lantern Festival from today until March 10, daily from 18:00 to 21:00, to present their passports or relevant entry proofs at the lantern festival’s on-site redemption center. They will receive a complimentary 2024 Year of the Dragon lantern, a limited-edition souvenir, and an event ticket (valid for watching the main lantern area performance from February 25 to March 9). Each person is entitled to one redemption, while supplies last.

In Chinese communities, Lantern Festival, celebrated on the 15th day of the lunar calendar, is also known as “Little New Year.” This important folk tradition during the New Year involves residents setting off fireworks, carrying lanterns, and visiting temples to appreciate festive lantern displays. It symbolizes national peace and prosperity, fostering a scene of unity and joy. Throughout Taiwan, various celebrations of different types and scales are held during the Lantern Festival period. The Taiwan Lantern Festival, distinct from other city lantern festivals, seamlessly blends traditional and modern elements. It draws on traditional culture, with the main lantern theme based on the Chinese zodiac sign of the year. The festival also includes rituals such as ground-breaking and seat-setting ceremonies held at auspicious times, alongside traditional processions featuring whistles, drums, and large gongs before the lighting ceremony. The lanterns creatively integrate traditional customs and folklore, portraying a vibrant and colorful spectacle through a combination of traditional practices and cutting-edge technology.

This year’s main lantern, “Dragon Comes to Taiwan,” is designed and produced by renowned artist Peng Li-chen. The inspiration comes from the dragon sculptures in front of the Daitian Temple in Tainan, combining both form and essence. The main lantern, with a dragon-shaped main body reaching a height of 18 meters, and a total height of 22 meters including the base, is a magnificent luminescent lantern combining figurative and abstract elements and exuding a majestic aura. Apart from its overall rotational motion, the left and right forearms of the dragon also incorporate electromechanical control components, exceeding the movement limitations of previous main lanterns. Additionally, Tainan, the host city of the 2024 lantern festival, is globally renowned for its solar energy photovoltaic industry. Therefore, this year’s main lantern incorporates solar energy materials such as EVA and sustainable green elements like carbon 60, embodying the lantern festival’s commitment to sustainable development.

Every year, apart from showcasing domestic lantern artworks, the Tourism Administration of the Ministry of Transportation and Communications also invites friends from around the world to join the festivities. This year, representatives from Japanese counties and companies (Hokkaido, Akita, Miyagi, Nagoya, Yamaguchi, Tottori, Kagawa, Kochi, Tobu Railway Company, Kintetsu Corporation), Seoul in South Korea, St. Kitts and Nevis in the Caribbean, Belize, and Indonesia will participate. The lantern area is designated as the International Inclusive Exhibition Area, themed “Making Friends with the World,” promoting Taiwan’s beauty to the world. The themed lantern incorporates naked-eye 3D technology for the first time, combining diverse lantern media materials, highlighting Taiwan’s unique geographical features, and connecting ecology to tourist attractions. The central location features a Taiwan-shaped design constructed by an illumination cube, connecting to the 360-degree electronic screen at the top and a colorful light display, welcoming visitors from all over. The animation effects, coupled with a diverse lantern display and international invited lanterns, realize the concept of international friendship.

The Tourism Administration, in promoting Taiwan’s unique traditional folk festivals, has continuously innovated and improved the Taiwan Lantern Festival over 35 years. It has been recognized by Discovery as one of the “World’s Best Festivals” and praised by international media as a Disneyland without roller coasters. This year, it has been selected by a renowned travel agency as one of the four global highlights for 2024! This year, the Tourism Bureau collaborates with Taiwan Railways Administration on the themed painted train “SIRAYA.” Designed by Professor Akibo, the train features a unique touch with digital 3D knitting technology, adorned with symbols like I LOVE TAIWAN, SIRAYA, smiling faces, hearts, and the radiant patterns representing the brilliance of the Taiwan Lantern Festival. The train showcases distinctive landmarks from six southern national scenic reas such as Siraya, Yunlin and Chiayi, Maulin, Alishan, Penghu, and Dashu Bay. Visitors are welcomed to take a ride on the SIRAYA train to Tainan for the 2024 Taiwan Lantern Festival and explore the unique culture and warmth of Southern Taiwan.

For more details about the event 2024 Taiwan Lantern Festival