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Pingxi Sky Lantern Festival to kick off Feb. 11

2016/02/09 13:14:29

Taipei, Feb. 9 (CNA) Pingxi's annual sky lantern festival will kick off on Feb. 11 this year with the launch of an eight-foot-tall main lantern full of fingerprints and blessings, organizers said.

During the festival, activities will be held on three days -- Feb. 11, 14 and 22.

This year, fingerprints are being used as a decorative element on the sky lanterns because everyone's fingerprints are unique, symbolizing the special nature of every wish written on the lanterns, New Taipei's Tourism and Travel Department said.

On the first day of the festival, which will take place on the fourth day of the Chinese Lunar New Year, a main lantern decorated with children's fingerprints will be released into the night sky from Jing Tong Elementary School.

On Feb. 14, a main lantern decorated with the fingerprints of 1,000 couples will be launched from Pingxi Junior High School to celebrate Valentine's Day.

The last event of the festival will be held at the Shifen Sky Lantern Square on Feb. 22, the date of the Lantern Festival, the fifteenth day of the Lunar New Year. The centerpiece of the night will be a main lantern decorated with beautiful landscape photos from around the world.

Each year, the sky lantern festival attracts tens of thousands of visitors to New Taipei City's Pingxi District, the only place in Taiwan where the release of sky lanterns is permitted.

In 2013, the festival was named by Fodor's Travel -- the world's largest publisher of travel guides -- as one of the world's 14 festivals a person must attend in their lifetime.

The festival was also named one of the "52 things to do in 2013" by CNN Travel.

(By Y.F. Low)