TAIWAN LANTERNS

Top 12 Festivals In Taiwan

We will explore the top festivals in Taiwan, providing insights into their unique attractions, duration, entrance costs, and recommendations for the best experience.

Top 12 Festivals In Taiwan

Festivals are an integral part of Taiwanese culture, showcasing the country’s vibrant traditions and customs. From lantern festivals illuminating the night sky to vibrant parades celebrating mythical deities, Taiwan offers a wide array of exciting events throughout the year. In this article, we will explore the top festivals in Taiwan, providing insights into their unique attractions, duration, entrance costs, and recommendations for an optimal experience.

1. Taipei Lantern Festival

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The Taipei Lantern Festival is one of the most anticipated events in Taiwan, drawing thousands of visitors each year. Lasting for several days, this festival takes place during the Chinese New Year celebration. The entrance to the festival is usually free of charge, making it accessible to all. The highlight of the festival is the mesmerizing display of large and intricate lanterns, depicting various themes and scenes from folklore and mythology.

These lanterns are often adorned with vibrant colors, providing a breathtaking visual feast for attendees. Visitors can also enjoy cultural performances and traditional cuisine and participate in activities like lantern-making workshops. If you are planning to attend the Taipei Lantern Festival, make sure to check the exact dates and locations beforehand, as they may vary each year.

2. Taichung Jazz Festival

Taichung Jazz Festival

For music enthusiasts, the Taichung Jazz Festival is a must-visit event. This annual festival brings together renowned local and international jazz musicians, captivating audiences with their soulful performances. The festival usually spans over a week and offers a diverse range of jazz styles and genres, ensuring there is something for everyone’s musical taste. Some of the venues for the performances include parks, concert halls, and even open-air stages.

While entrance to most concerts is free, some special performances may require tickets. Additionally, the festival presents an excellent opportunity to explore the city of Taichung, known for its cultural sites, night markets, and bustling shopping districts. Don’t forget to check the festival schedule in advance to plan your visit accordingly.

3. Yanshui Beehive Fireworks Festival

Yanshui Beehive Fireworks Festival

Deeply rooted in tradition, the Yanshui Beehive Fireworks Festival is an adrenaline-fueled event that attracts thrill-seekers and curious onlookers from all around the globe. Held in the Yanshui district, this festival is famous for its unique firework tradition. Participants gather in the streets, wearing protective gear, as massive amounts of fireworks are launched into the air, resembling a swarm of angry bees. 

The objective is to embrace the explosive experience and let the fireworks touch them, as it is believed to bring good luck and fortune. The festival requires careful safety precautions, with participants dressed in thick clothing and helmets to shield against potential burns or impacts. It’s an exhilarating and unforgettable spectacle that offers a glimpse into Taiwan’s rich cultural heritage.

4. Pingxi Sky Lantern Festival

Pingxi Sky Lantern Festival

The Pingxi Sky Lantern Festival is a magical celebration that allows visitors to release their hopes, dreams, and wishes into the night sky. This tradition originated during the Qing Dynasty and continues to captivate the hearts of both locals and tourists. Participants gather in the quaint town of Pingxi to decorate their lanterns with personal messages or drawings. 

As darkness falls, these lanterns are collectively released, creating a captivating sight that illuminates the sky. Symbolizing letting go of troubles and welcoming new beginnings, the festival carries a profound spiritual meaning. 

It’s worth mentioning that there is an entrance fee to participate in the festival, which includes a lantern and necessary materials. To make the most of your experience, arrive early to avoid crowds and immerse yourself in the tranquil ambiance of Pingxi.

5. Tainan International Balloon Festival

Tainan International Balloon Festival

The Tainan International Balloon Festival is a vibrant event that combines magnificent hot air balloons with an abundance of activities and entertainment. Spanning over several weeks, this festival takes place in the city of Tainan, attracting both locals and international visitors. The entrance to the festival is often free, but certain activities and balloon rides may have respective fees. 

Visitors can witness the awe-inspiring sight of colorful hot air balloons taking flight, creating a mesmerizing display against the backdrop of Tainan’s picturesque landscapes. Apart from the balloon rides, the festival offers various family-friendly activities such as live music performances, food stalls, and even a hot air balloon glow event. 

Don’t miss the chance to explore Tainan’s rich history and temples and indulge in its renowned local cuisine while visiting the festival.

6. Kaohsiung Lantern Festival

Kaohsiung Lantern Festival

The Kaohsiung Lantern Festival is a grand scale event that showcases stunning displays of illuminated lanterns and cultural performances. Held annually in Kaohsiung, this festival commemorates the Chinese New Year. Visitors can expect to witness breathtaking lanterns in different designs, sizes, and colors, often representing zodiac signs or iconic landmarks. The festival also features colorful performances ranging from traditional dances and music to acrobatic shows and art installations.

The nighttime activities include lantern riddle contests, temple visits, and vibrant street markets offering local cuisine and handicrafts. The Kaohsiung Lantern Festival typically lasts for several weeks with free admission, providing ample time to immerse yourself in the city’s festive atmosphere.

7. Hualien Ocean Fireworks Festival

Hualien Ocean Fireworks Festival

The Hualien Ocean Fireworks Festival is an annual event that combines the natural beauty of Hualien’s coastline with dazzling fireworks displays. This festival celebrates the unique connection between the ocean and the people of Hualien. Lasting for two days, the festival offers a mesmerizing blend of fireworks, laser shows, and music performances. The entrance to the festival is free, making it accessible to all visitors.

Spectators can enjoy the fireworks from the shoreline or from boats cruising along the coastline, providing different perspectives of the stunning displays. Apart from the fireworks, visitors can also explore the nearby Taroko National Park, known for its breathtaking marble cliffs, gorges, and trails.

8. Yilan Green Expo

Yilan Green Expo

The Yilan Green Expo is an eco-friendly festival that promotes sustainable practices, environmental awareness, and the beauty of Yilan’s natural landscapes. This event typically lasts for several weeks and invites visitors to explore a plethora of exhibitions, workshops, and outdoor activities. Entrance to the expo usually requires a small fee, contributing to the preservation of the environment and the promotion of eco-tourism in Yilan. Visitors can immerse themselves in various exhibitions highlighting renewable energy, ecological conservation, and sustainable lifestyles.

The festival also features live performances, art installations, and organic food markets. Don’t miss the opportunity to explore Yilan’s enchanting natural attractions, including stunning waterfalls, hot springs, and lush green valleys.

9. Lantern Festival in Lukang

Lantern Festival in Lukang

The lantern festival in Lukang is a charming celebration that encapsulates the essence of traditional Taiwanese festivities. Lukang is a historic town renowned for its well-preserved temples, narrow alleyways, and nostalgic ambiance. During the lantern festival, the streets come alive with beautifully crafted lanterns of all shapes and sizes, illuminating the town’s old lanes and courtyards. Visitors can witness traditional performances, including lion dances and puppet shows.

10. Dajia Mazu Pilgrimage

Dajia Mazu Pilgrimage

The Dajia Mazu Pilgrimage is a yearly event in Taiwan that honors the Taoist sea goddess Mazu. It involves taking a statue of Mazu and carrying it in a special litter on a round-trip journey. The journey starts at Jenn Lann Temple in Dajia, Taichung, and goes all the way to Fengtian Temple in Xingang, Chiayi. Along the way, they make stops at many temples. This festival goes on for nine days and brings in a lot of people who walk alongside the litter during the pilgrimage.

11. Keelung Ghost Festival

The Keelung Ghost Festival, dating back to 1851, is one of Taiwan’s oldest festivals. It involves offerings, parades, performances, and rituals to honor and protect the living from suffering in the afterlife. Each ritual has deep historical and folk significance.

In recent years, the festival has also embraced cultural and artistic elements while preserving its Taiwanese traditions. The festival includes areas like Jiufen, Yehliu, Pingxi, Jinshan, and Ruifan, all contributing to the traditional Keelung Ghost Festival. These traditions are showcased in the festival’s parade.

12. Hsinchu Wind Festival

Hsinchu Wind Festival

The Taiwan Lantern Festival is a significant event in Taiwan, and different cities in Taiwan take turns hosting it each year. In 2021, Hsinchu City will host the festival, and they want to bring a new twist to this traditional event. They plan to have one of the venues chosen through an open-call process.

Hsinchu City will have six venues for the festival, and one of them, called the ‘Long En Canal Site,’ will serve as an international stage for artistic expression. This venue will be curated by the Archicake Design Team, an experienced architectural group with a track record of managing government projects, exhibitions, and events in Taiwan.

Final Thoughts

In Taiwan, festivals are not just events; they’re vibrant celebrations of culture and tradition. From lanterns lighting up the night sky to thrilling fireworks displays, these festivals offer a glimpse into the heart of Taiwan. You can even send your wishes into the sky at the Pingxi Sky Lantern Festival or witness a sky full of hot air balloons at the Tainan International Balloon Festival.

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