Mon, Jan 01, 2018 - Page 3 News List

Yilan decorates early to encourage festive spirit

By Li Ching-lun and Jake Chung  /  Staff reporter, with staff writer

Light decorations are pictured in Yilan County on Saturday as the county government has started to install light decorations in anticipation of the Lunar New Year and Lantern Festival celebrations.

Photo provided by the Yilan County Government

In anticipation of the Lunar New Year and Lantern Festival, Yilan County is decorating major crossroads and public transport hubs to usher in festive cheer and holiday spirits early this year.

This year’s Lunar New Year falls on Feb 16.

According to the county government’s Business and Tourism Department, decorations were already going up at the start of last month in Yilan City’s Luodong Township (羅東), at the bus transit station in Jiaosi Township (礁溪), at Diudiutong Park and Jimmy Park by the Yilan Train Station, as well as the Suao Port (蘇澳港) and the harbor office.

“At first, we decorated for Christmas and we will phase those decorations out for more Asia-themed lanterns as Lunar New Year approaches,” the department said.

The decorations would hopefully increase the amount of tourists coming to Yilan, and would allow for more night-time activities, department director Chen Chang-wei (陳長偉) added.

More guests increases the chances of them staying in the county’s many hotels and hostels, and this would definitively be a boost for its tourism industry, he said.

Many hotel and hostel owners are decorating their establishments in compliance with the county’s policy, Chen said.

“Of course, we hope that our decorations serve not only to welcome tourists, but welcome home the children of the county,” Chen said, referring students returning to the county.

Department official Lu Ping-cheng (呂秉承), who is overseeing the decorations, said they are based around the theme: “Light Yilan Up.”

Jiaosi and Luodong will concentrate on Christmas-themed decorations, with Christmas trees, socks and Gingerbread houses, Lu said, adding that Yilan City’s theme will be “the Sun over Gueishan” and will feature many green and red lights.

The Sun over Gueishan refers to Gueishan Island (龜山), also known as Turtle island. It is so named because of its resemblance to a turtle looking up toward the sun as it sets.

Decorations in Nanfangao Township (南方澳) will be based on cold colors — blue for the sea and white for the frothing foam of waves, Lu said.

“As we move closer to the Lunar New Year, the Christmas-themed decorations will be replaced by ones welcoming the arrival of the Year of the Dog,” Lu said.

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