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Festival Bucket List: Pingxi Lantern Festival

Festival Bucket List: Pingxi Lantern Festival

(Photo: Sheng-Fa Lin/Flickr)

What: The Pingxi Lantern Festival is an annual event celebrating lunar New Year by releasing hundreds of thousands of hot air balloons into the full moonlit sky.

Where: Pingxi, New Taipei City, Taiwan, China

When: Mid-February.

Capacity: No exact numbers on people, but around 100,000 to 200,000 lanterns are released during the festival.

Fun fact: According to the Pingxi elders, the Sky Lantern festival originated more than two thousand-years-ago in a time when bands of outlaws would often raid the lowland villages forcing residents to seek refuge in the mountains. The village watchmen would set off “fire balloons” to let the villagers that their houses were safe once again. Once the refugees saw the lanterns light up in the sky, they knew it was time to come home.

Why should you go? After you buy a lantern, you’re supposed to write your dreams and ambitions on the balloon and send it off into the night sky. There’s something particularly special about seeing all these hopeful people sending their true desires out into the universe. In terms of spectacle, seeing those fiery red balloons light up the sky is just amazing.

(Photo: Jirka Matousek/Flickr)


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