Taiwan cancels annual Lantern Festival for 1st time in 32 years

Photo courtesy of NOWnews

TAIPEI (The China Post) — The Executive Yuan (行政院) announced Tuesday the cancellation of the 2021 Taiwan Lantern Festival in response to the recent confirmation of 4 more local COVID-19 infections in Taiwan. 

The lantern festival was originally scheduled in Hsinchu from Feb. 26 to March 7. It will be the first time in 32 years that the popular festival is canceled.

According to Executive Yuan Secretary-general Li Meng-yen (李孟諺), authorities came to the unanimous decision during a meeting between Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌), Minister of Transportation and Communications Lin Chia-lung (林佳龍), Health Minister Chen Shih-chung (陳時中) and Hsinchu Mayor Lin Chih-chien (林智堅).

saying that it would be best to hold of the festival.

Li said officials decided against the event to prevent the possibility of further virus spread given the difficulty of acquiring all attendees’ names and contact information during the event, the recent escalation of local infections and Hsinchu being the main hub of Taiwan’s semiconductor manufacture industry.

This year will mark the first cancellation of the festival in 32 years since the first Lantern Festival hosted by the Tourism Bureau in 1990.