Taipei hopes to see more births in Year of Rabbit


TAIPEI — The organizers of the 2011 Taipei Lantern Festival said yesterday that they hope the city’s low birth rate will rise in the Year of the Rabbit, as the rabbit is a symbol of fertility.

This year, the centerpiece of the Taipei Lantern Festival will be an LED display called Baby the Rabbit, which is meant to celebrate the joy of new life, the city’s Department of Civil Affairs said.

Surrounding the central lantern display will be several mini rabbits bearing the Chinese characters for “good pregnancy,” which are also a homonym for “good luck” in Mandarin, the department said.

The idea is to integrate Taipei City’s ongoing New Birth Incentive Program with the fertility symbolism of the rabbit to encourage residents to have more children, the department said.