BY WENDY HUNG
This year’s Valentine’s Day also marks the date of the Lantern Festival in Taiwan. As a Taiwanese, this is one celebration which I carry with enormous pride as it’s simply oh-so-pretty! Sure, lion dances and firecrackers in my grandparents’ old city certainly represented all the joy and love about Chinese New Year. But nothing compares to the sight of handmade lanterns, hurdled in thousands, floating into the nighttime sky.
Lantern Festival in Taiwan is hailed as one of the most beautiful festivals in the world, and it’s typically celebrated on the 15th day of the first month in the lunar year (marking it the last day of the lunar New Year celebration.) In Mandarin, we call it “元宵節” (Yuan-Xiao Jie), this is also when folks in Taiwan and China devour in glutinous rice balls. [SEE: Chinese New Year Recipe: Tangyuan (Glutinous Rice Balls) Dessert]
Most countries in Asia have their own versions of Lantern Festival, so I decided to select 19 magnificent photos to share with you all, as this Valentine’s Day in the western culture happens to fall on the same day with Lantern Festival in the eastern culture. Apparently, this coincidence hasn’t happened in 19 years! Enjoy both as I send you much love, light and joy.