Article and photos courtesy of Taichung City Government Information Bureau
Translated by Anna Yang
Celebrating the Lantern Festival together
The 15th day of the first lunar month is also known as the “little new year” and was a Chinese holiday traditionally celebrated with firecrackers and hand-held lanterns or torches to create a joyful, festive atmosphere. The Taiwan Lantern Festival is held every year as a way to preserve and pass on Taiwan’s traditional culture, as well as bring families and friends together for a memorable, happy holiday.
Among the world’s best festival events
The Taiwan Lantern Festival, organized by the Tourism Bureau of the Ministry of Transportation and Communications, is now coming to its 31st year. Starting in 2001, this national event has rotated among Taiwan’s cities and counties, which each have the opportunity to host it, and has become so popular that it has been highlighted on the American Discovery Channel as one of the best festivals in the world.
2020 Taiwan Lantern Festival in Taichung
The upcoming Taiwan Lantern Festival will be hosted by Taichung City for the third time, following events in 2003 and 2015. For the 2020 event, the city government will do its utmost to promote Taichung businesses, industries, tourism and culture to the world, boosting the local economy while doing so.
Taiwan Lantern Festival in a dazzling Taichung
For the 2020 Taiwan Lantern Festival, Taichung is being touted as the “Dazzling City” and there are three main themed sites planned to highlight its top rural and urban characteristics: “Fantastical Forest of Lanterns” at the Houli Forest Park Area; “Art Wonderland” at the Houli Horse Ranch; and “Kids’ Paradise” at Wenxin Forest Park.
Main Lantern Site (Feb. 8-23, 2020)
Fantastical Forest of Lanterns at Houli Forest Park Area:
This site introduces the inseparable relationship between light installation art, nature and people, with a respect for nature portrayed in various ways with background music and storytelling.
Art Wonderland at Houli Horse Ranch:
This site combines traditional lanterns with mechanical movements to create a lantern extravaganza utilizing technology and multimedia effects. The venue will also offer a zoo-like atmosphere with animal lantern figures, as well as a colorful “entrepreneur zone” generated by Taichung industries. A European-style carnival and circus show will also take place in this fantasyland.
Secondary Site (Dec. 21, 2019 to Feb. 23, 2020)
Kids’ Paradise at Wenxin Forest Park:
This venue is designed for family visits and children’s entertainment. Various themed lantern areas and performances will transform this downtown location into a forest paradise for kids. Lanterns in the secondary lantern site will be illuminated during the Christmas and New Year periods, making this fairytale-like location perfect going for residents and visitors alike.
Those taking trains to Houli Railway Station can ride public buses or shuttle buses to the main lantern sites (Houli Forest Park Area and Horse Ranch). To get to the downtown secondary site, take the train to Daqing Railway Station (or Taichung HSR Station) and take No. 800 buses to your destination. Traffic controls will be enforced around the festival sites, so taking public transportation is recommended.
Introduction to attractions
Rainbow Village located on Nantun District’s Lane 56, ChunAn Road near Ling Tung University. This colorful community is covered with child-like drawings done by artist Huang Yong-fu, also known as “Rainbow Grandpa”, whose vivid illustrations of people and animals have rejuvenated this once drab, lonely village.
National Taichung Theater is ranked among the world’s top nine architectural landmarks. This beautiful, artistic building is the brainchild of world-famous architect Toyo Ito, whose interior design embraces a “sound cave” concept.
Shengji New Village is a culture and creative industry venue sited in a renovated former government housing community. Today it attracts large crowds of visitors, who enjoy shopping and photo-taking here.
Houfeng Bikeway, stretching 4.5 kilometers, begins right beneath National Freeway No.4 and ends at Houli Horse Ranch, traveling through the former Old Mountain Rail Line’s No. 9 Tunnel and across the Hualiang Steel Bridge.
Dongfeng Bikeway was the first Taiwan bike route to be built over an old rail line. It offers 12 greenery-lined kilometers of scenery, starting in Fengyuan District and ending at Dongshi District’s Hakka Cultural Park. Popular in Taichung as a recreational destination, this bikeway is connected to Houfeng Bikeway.
Ma An Ba Ecology Park (Dajia River Power Plant) is located in Heping District and is home to an abundance of wildlife, including fish, birds, butterflies, monkeys, wild boars, and Reeve’s muntjacs. Besides enjoying the transformed power plant, you may also observe fish swimming upstream at this new eco-friendly Taichung site.
Basianshan Forest Recreation Area, located in Heping District, is situated at an elevation of 700 to 2,500 meters above sea level and encompasses both Basian Mountain and Malun Mountain. The area is also above Shiwen Creek, whose rushing clear waters combine with the forest greenery to make this a pure paradise.