Sun, Feb 18, 2007 - Page 12 News List

Who'll bring home the bacon this year?

By Noah Buchan  /  STAFF REPORTER

Chiayi city has been chosen to host this year's Lantern Festival, the centerpiece of which is an 18m-tall lantern, weighing some two tonnes and standing on an 18-tonne base in the shape of a mountain boar.

The lantern will be lit from 7pm on March 4 until March 11. The festival will also feature 23 fireworks displays, numerous lantern and riddle contests.

Not to be outdone, the Taipei City Government will also hold a lantern festival of its own with a 20m pig lantern as the centerpiece. Dubbed the 2007 Taipei International Lantern Festival, this year's mascot is a time-traveling "Zhucolate" pig, which will educate people on the history and meaning of previous lantern festivals while encouraging people to discover Taipei through his adventures.

The festival begins on Feb. 24 with a "lantern tunnel" that will illuminate Renai Road in the colors of the rainbow, which is meant to symbolize the diversity of the country's capital city. The main lantern exhibition begins on March 3 in the square at Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall.

Perhaps a counterpoint to the pessimistic predictions made by soothsayers, the large spherical pig that will grace the square is considered lucky as its roundness symbolizes prosperity.

In addition to the displays at Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall, 16 lanterns representing the qualities of the pig will be on display along Xinyi and Aiguo East roads adjacent to the square.

On the Net:

Details for the Chiayi lantern festival can be found at www.cyhg.gov.tw/english/hotnews/hotnews2.htm; details for the 2007 Taipei International Lantern

Festival can be found at english.taipei.gov.tw

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