A skywalk on Changhua County’s Baguashan (八卦山) has been decorated with lights and equipped with a sound system in a bid to turn the mountain and nearby attractions into a destination for couples ahead of the Qixi Festival (七夕情人節), or Lovers’ Day, on Aug. 7.
To create a romantic ambiance, the skywalk’s makeover was based on the Chinese tale of the cowherd and the weaver girl, in which lovers banished to opposite sides of a heavenly river can be reunited only one day a year when a flock of magpies form a bridge.
From Saturday, Changhua City is to host Qixi events, including the open-air concerts that have become a tradition since the celebrations were first organized by former Changhua mayor Chiu Chien-fu (邱建富), the city office said.
Photo courtesy of Changhua City Office
The lights on the 1,006m skywalk, which have been lit daily since last week’s trial, will be lit from 6:30pm to 10:30pm, the office said.
Some early visitors have said that the lights are so beautiful that they are tempted to leave single life behind and find a special someone, just so they could walk down the skywalk together.
The original plan was for the skywalk to “go dark” at the beginning of next month, but the city office said that, with a carnival event — featuring concerts, performances and road-side acts — on Aug. 24 and 25, and the Mid-Autumn Festival on Sept. 13, it has asked the county government whether more money could be allocated to fund the lighting until early September.
The lighting was designed by a team from National Changhua Normal University, which also designed Facebook emoticons and Line stickers for the events.
The city spent NT$500,000 on the hanging lights, but the money was not for “gratification that lasts only minutes or seconds, like fireworks,” Changhua Mayor Lin Shih-hsien (林世賢) said on Monday.
Changhua plans to collaborate with solar power generation companies in coming years, Lin said, adding that using solar power to illuminate the skywalk would greatly reduce the financial burden on the county.
Artistic depictions along the skywalk put a twist on the Cinderella story, Lin said, adding that they show a couple falling in love, marrying, having a child, and growing old together — making Baguashan the go-to place for lovers.
The city hopes to organize on Baguashan the “largest meet-and-greet event for unmarried couples in the nation” and to establish a cottage industry dedicated to love, Lin said.
“We hope that romance and marriage themes will draw more visitors,” Lin added.
The county and city governments are considering further subsidies for the lighting, while urging families to visit Baguashan during summer vacation, the county’s City and Tourism Development Office Director Ma Ying-chieh (馬英傑) said.
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