|This colossal main lantern is several stories high.|
Now is the time for Lantern Festival, which marks the end of Chinese new year. Figural lanterns are made by stretching colored paper or fabric over wire frames, and lit from within. Spectacular displays are set up in public areas, and in the evenings, huge crowds go strolling to watch them.
Since this is the Year of the Dragon, many lanterns are dragon-themed, although even in other years dragons are always a popular subject.
The above dragon is made from recycled bottles and drink-cup lids. Recycled materials are very popular for making the lanterns.
To give a better idea of the variety and effect of the lanterns, I am including a lot of illustrations, and very little explanation, so please just scroll through and enjoy—let me know which one is your favorite.
|Lantern Festival was set up this year in the Sun Yat Sen Memorial Plaza. The Taipei 101 Building forms a dramatic backdrop for the display.|
I don’t know whether this is supposed to be a dinosaur or an alligator, or what happened to its snout—there seems to be an epidemic.
(All above photos by the author.)
There is another type of lantern known as sky lanterns, which are like little hot air balloons. Prayers or lucky wishes are written in red on the sides, then the fire is lit and the lanterns go soaring up to heaven. It is a dramatic and beautiful sight to watch them rise into the sky.
|Pingxi sky lanterns, Photo by Rick Yi, Taiwan News from www.culture.tw|