With the theme of “Twinkle Taipei, Lights up the Dream and the Heart” (台北亮晶晶 點亮夢想 點亮心), the 2019 Taipei Lantern Festival kicked off on February 16, and ran until Feb. 24. The festive celebrations blended modern technology into festival displays to create a unique fusion of tradition and modernity that attracted more than 4 million spectators.
Please watch the following video of the 2019 Taipei Lantern Festival.
Because 2019 is the Year of the Pig, according to the Lunar Calendar, Zhu Bao (Precious Piggy豬寶) was chosen as the leading character of the Festival. Drawing inspiration from the Piggy and the Electric Flower Car (電子花車), a truck-converted moving stage on which performers sang and danced mostly for festive occasions, Zhu Bao the Twinkling Transformer (百變豬寶亮晶晶) was created as the theme lantern of this Lantern Festival.
The 2019 Taipei Lantern Festival’s main activities were held at Taipei City’s Ximending (西門町), a famous historical business center in the western part of Taipei City. It marked the third time that the festive celebrations were held at Ximending, after Taiwan’s Tourism Bureau decided to alternatively hold the national-level Taiwan Lantern Festival in other cities across the island three years ago.
This year’s Taipei Lantern Festival had four lantern theme areas — the Twinkling Theme Lanterns Area, Twinkling Creative Lantern Area, Twinkling Dream Life Area, and Twinkling Friendly Cities Area, which stretched from Ximending, along Section One of Zhonghua Road (中華路), all the way to Beimen (North Gate 北門) and Taipei Travel Plaza (行旅廣場) in front of the Taipei Main Station.
In the Twinkling Theme Lanterns Area, the screens comprising 5.5 million-pixel LEDs made Zhu Bao have a range of dynamic facial expressions. In the Twinkling Creative Lantern Area, graffiti artists from Taiwan, the United States, the United Kingdom, Japan, and Thailand were invited to create interesting tent designs. In the Twinkling Dream Life Area, many lanterns and other art installations were displayed.
In the Twinkling Friendly Cities Area, lanterns from Belize, Japan, the United Kingdom, the Taipei European School, and China’s Shanghai City were exhibited.
With the theme of “I Love Pepppa Pig (我愛佩佩豬),” a romantic sea of lights, a carousel, a small Ferris Wheel, and other entertainment installations were set up at the Taipei Travel Plaza, which were great for both photos and fun.
One of the striking features of the Lantern Festival was the 3D projection mapping show that ran every 30 minutes with 7 minutes in duration at Beimen (North Gate). As Beimen is the only completely preserved gate of Taipei City from the Qing Dynasty, the light sculpture featured the history pertaining to this old city gate by means of light projections, music, and other kinds of performances.
Another highlight of the Lantern Festival was the 2019 Taipei Luminarie light installation in front of the Taipei City Hall. Jointly sponsored by the Taipei City Government and a local supermarket chain, the event was held for two weeks in the run-up to the opening of the Taipei Lantern Festival.
Extending nearly two-tenths of a mile (300 meters), a corridor of extravagant illumination was installed at the Citizen Plaza (市民廣場) and Section Four of Renai Road. It consisted of three sections — Galleria, Façade, and Spalliera. Approximately 233,990 LED light bulbs were used to create a corridor measuring 300 meters in length and 20 meters in height.
To mark the last day of the 2019 Taipei Lantern Festival, a carnival parade was held along Zhonghua Road. There were performances of the Taipei City mascot Bravo, honor guards and marching bands from some schools, and some foreign performance troupes from Brazil, Italy, and Spain. Among them was the Tokyo Disney Resort 35th Anniversary Special Parade, which was the float’s first appearance outside of Japan.