Fri, Oct 04, 2019 - Page 14 News List

Highlight: WISH sustainable lantern festival

By Han Cheung  /  Staff reporter

These eco-friendly sky lanterns are completely combustible and do not end up as trash in the forest.

Photo courtesy of MyTaiwanTour

While the sky lanterns of picturesque Pingsi District in New Taipei City draw hordes of tourists to the area, the fallout is evident as the surrounding area is dotted with lantern “corpses.” Not only are they an eyesore for those wishing to enjoy the pristine hills and forests, they are also an environmental hazard and can be dangerous for wild animals.

Next weekend, MyTaiwanTour is launching WISH, a sustainable lantern festival that uses eco-friendly lanterns designed by local startup Culture Bank (文化銀行). According to Culture Bank, up to 400,000 lanterns are released into the sky each year, creating 45 tonnes of garbage, about 10 percent of which is never picked up. Instead of the metal frames, Culture Bank’s frames are made from recycled paper egg cartons, and are designed so they completely burn up before they land.

To offset the remaining issue of carbon emissions from lantern burning, part of the revenue from the lanterns, as well as the festival costs, will go toward planting trees.

MyTaiwanTour will provide transportation.

The festival will take place in the forest and features live music from Golden Melody-winning Hakka band Gina’s Can (吉那罐子) as well as the smooth jazz of Lady & Knight (女爵). Visitors will have a chance to ride an old-school coal transport train and visit the local coal mine museum. There will be craft beer, food and an arts and crafts market.

■ Oct. 12 from 5pm to 8:20pm at 5, Dingliaozi, Pingsi District, New Taipei City (新北市平溪區頂寮子5號). Free shuttle bus departs at 3:30pm from Liberty Square.

■ General admission is NT$1,500, VIP pass that includes a farm-to-table feast are NT$3,600. Both ticket types include an NT$300 coupon for food and drinks at the venue, transportation and lantern releasing. For more information, visit www.wish-festival.com/en/

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