Yunlin County gives 3D makeover to its yearly lantern party

By Liao Shu-ling and Stacy Hsu  /  Staff reporter, with staff writer

Tue, Jan 22, 2013 - Page 5

Visitors can experience an innovative Lantern Festival in Yunlin County this year, held annually on the 15th day of the first month of the lunar calendar, as the Yunlin County Government prepares to celebrate the event with life-like virtual lanterns using new 3D technology.

Instead of using giant lanterns made of multi-colored paper or electric lanterns featuring animated characters, the county government decided to try something new for the upcoming Year of the Snake and use virtual lanterns.

The lanterns’ designs will revolve around three major themes and feature items such as a Ferris wheel, a faucet and a corsair. They are to be showcased at the Head of Waterways Cultural Park and a road near the Beigang River (北港溪) embankment in Beigang District (北港).

The projection show, which will cost the county government nearly NT$7 million (US$240,000), also aims to draw more visitors to the area at a time when the district’s renowned Chaotien Temple (朝天宮) is preparing for an influx of flock to the temple to pray for good luck and prosperity after the Lunar New Year, the festival organizers said.

Hung Jen-sheng (洪仁聲), the interim director of the county’s Cultural Affairs Department, said the county government converted the park from the Beigang Levee No. 1, which housed a unique decagon-shaped water tower and a generator room constructed during the Japanese colonial era.

“The decagon water tower was built in 1930 and is particularly well-known, making the cultural park — which is only 600m away from Chaotien Temple — an ideal spot for worshipers and tourists to visit,” Hung said.

Hung said district residents could expect large crowds in the area to see the virtual lanterns during the Lunar New Year holiday, which runs from Feb. 9 to Feb. 17.