Thousands turn out for Lantern Festival test

The China Post news staff

A test lighting for the Taiwan Lantern Festival drew out a crowd of thousands in Yunlin County on Tuesday.

In preparation for the annual festival, hosted this year in Yunlin County, the local government put its lantern lights through a power test for the first time on Monday. Organizers have scheduled three full days of trial runs before the official lighting on Friday.

This year, the Lantern Festival is showcasing a variety of lanterns that fuse traditional art with modern technology in an eco-friendly way, in the two lantern areas of Huwei (虎尾) and Beigang (北港).

The main lantern, titled “Feng Huang Lai Yi” (鳳凰來儀), is phoenix atop a mountain featuring 4-D refraction technology and an intricate 19,000-set light circuit system, according to reports from the festival’s officials.

Yunlin County Magistrate Lee Chin-yung (李進勇) reported a successful test of the main lantern, which stands 23 meters tall and consists entirely of LED lights.

Other lanterns include “As Fish Jumps over the Dragon’s Gate,” “Destiny-Changing Ox,” “Birds Chirp, Flowers Bloom,” and “Auspicious Lion,” all of which contained symbols of culture, good wishes, or Yunlin County’s unique characteristics.

The festival, which officials said was the largest ever, officially runs from Feb. 11 to Feb. 19.