Mon, Feb 12, 2007 - Page 2 News List

Taipei festival celebrates traditional lanterns

By Mo Yan-chih  /  STAFF REPORTER

The 2007 Taipei Lantern Festival from March 3 to March 11 will celebrate traditional lanterns like those seen on this crowded Kaohsiung street, Sanfengchung St, where residents do their Lunar New Year's shopping yesterday.

PHOTO: CHANG CHUNG-YI, TAIPEI TIMES

With its 20m tall pig mascot the 2007 Taipei Lantern Festival is inviting the public to enjoy lantern exhibitions at CKS Memorial Hall during the traditional holiday starting from March 3.

The festival, which will be held from March 3 to March 11 at the memorial, has as its theme the Year of the Pig (, Zhu), which brings fortune and luck as the roundness of the pig symbolizes prosperity.

Jason Yeh (葉傑生), deputy commissioner of Taipei City's Department of Civil Affairs, said the mascot of this year's festival is a time-traveling "Zhucolate" pig, who will educate people on the history and meaning of the Taipei International Lantern Festival and encourage people to discover the beauty of Taipei through its adventures.

Besides the display of the theme lantern in the main square at the hall, 16 lanterns representing the qualities of the Chinese zodiac symbol of the pig and traditional cultures will be on display on Xinyi Road and Aiguo East Road.

Each lantern is made using traditional techniques and created by master lantern makers, Yeh said.

To promote the Lunar New Year to foreigners visiting or living in Taiwan, the festival will also offer an international lantern area near the National Concert Hall, featuring lanterns provided by international corporations representing different countries and cultures.

A riddle contest -- a long-standing tradition in the celebration of the Lantern Festival -- will be held every night at the festival, the department said.

Before the launch of the festival, a lantern tunnel with various colored light bulbs on Renai Road and streets surrounding CKS Memorial Hall will be lit up on Feb. 24.

The Taipei City Department of Transportation encouraged festival participants to take advantage of public transportation during the festival, as heavy traffic around the area was likely.

Details on the festival are available on the Internet at http://www.taipei-festival2007.com.

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