TAIPEI (CNA) — The 2019 Taiwan Lantern Festival will kick off Feb. 19 in Pingtung, featuring a tuna-themed main lantern and handheld lanterns that double as piggy banks, according to the Tourism Bureau.
The upcoming lantern festival in Pingtung marks the 30th anniversary of the Taiwan Lantern Festival, and the Tourism Bureau announced at a press conference on Jan. 3 that although this year’s festival celebrates the Year of the Pig in the Chinese zodiac, it will be the first time the main lantern has not been based on a Chinese zodiac animal.
Instead, the main lantern at the festival will be in the shape of a giant golden tuna jumping out of the sea, symbolizing the bluefin tuna that brings wealth to the county.
The main lantern will be placed above Dapeng Bay and visitors can take boat rides in the evening to view it close up, Tourism Bureau Director-General Chou Yung-hui (周永暉) said.
The bureau added that the 2019 handheld lanterns can also be used as piggy banks, inspired by the folklore of pig spirits as protectors. The handheld lanterns will also feature images of bats, peonies and traditional patterns from the indigenous Paiwan community.
According to the official website of the festival, special offers, including limited-edition gifts and viewing-stand tickets, will also be available for overseas independent travelers and tour groups.
By Chen Wei-ting and Chi Jo-yao