Sorry for a slight delay in posts! My first semester at the ICLP is starting to wrap up, so this week has been a bit busy for yours truly. Please pardon the tardiness of this one. 🙂
It feels like it has been Chinese New Year forever! That’s because Chinese New Year festivities do not end until the fifteenth day of the first lunar month of the lunar new year, when the Lantern Festivals take place. This year, that day was Sunday, February 24.
There are many explanations for what the Lantern Festival represents + how it became tradition. My favorite explanation is that letting go of the lantern lets go of your past self to make way for a new self, who will be let go of when the next year rolls around.
All week last week, red lanterns + LED light shows were displayed across Taiwan. I checked out the lights at Yuanshan Park, near the Fine Arts Museum last Saturday. There were times at Yuanshan that it was hard to move from all of the people, but I’m happy that I checked it out!
On Sunday, I went back to Pingxi to send up a lantern with my buddies Disha, Manav, Marina + Disha’s cousin, Andy. I thought that we would be dealing with massive crowds in Pingxi, because special events in Taiwan (like the display at Yuanshan Park, or any weekend day at Jiufen) always draw a ton of people, with rarely enough space to comfortably hold the crowds.
As it turned out, Pingxi was not the destination for most last Sunday night. Instead, the crowds were at Shifen, just up the road. We happily stayed in Pingxi, made more paper lanterns, saw plenty more sent up + ate our fill of the delicious food stand fare.
Once again, Happy Year of the Snake, people! Hope you got to enjoy…. all of the lights! (Cue: rimshot.)