Lantern Festival Festivities
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>> 北歐年度狂歡 ── 仲夏節(上) Happy Midsummer!

The Vietnamese have Tet, the Thais have Songkran, and the Indians have Diwali. However, nothing beats the celebrations that explode around Taiwan during the Lantern Festival. This holiday occurs on the 15th day of the first month of the lunar calendar. It is the time of year when the city, temples, and homes are decorated with lanterns and colorful decorations. Many Taiwanese citizens and foreigners alike take part in the rituals and festivities held around the island.

   The Lantern Festival is about creating positive relationships between people, families, and the spirits. What better way is there to do that than by lighting up the night? As the festival name suggests, countless decorative lanterns are hung in and around temples, homes, and the city. The lanterns usually portray the Chinese zodiac animal of that year and are carried by children on the night of the festival.

 However, lantern designs are not limited to animals. Many lantern lovers take the time to check out the lantern design competitions held every year at the Taipei Lantern Festival. Another custom of the Lantern Festival is the eating of yuanshiao, which are round glutinous rice dumplings with either a sweet or salty filling. Yuanshiao stands for family unity and brings completeness to all, which is why the Lantern Festival is better known by Taiwanese people as the Yuanshiao Festival.

 Nowadays, people in Taiwan have found other thrilling ways to celebrate the Lantern Festival. One of the more popular ways is to travel to Pingshi to light up the night sky. Also known as Kungming lanterns, sky lanterns are like little hot-air balloons which are released into the night sky. Made of rice paper, sky lanterns are individually decorated with personal names, pictures, wishes, and prayers for the new year. It is believed that the higher the sky lantern flies, the more likely that a person's wishes will come true.

 Launching a sky lantern is not exciting enough for some, so they head for wherever the fireworks are. Some choose the Hakka Dragon Bombing Festival in Miaoli. Unlike a traditional dragon dance, the dragons in this festival are tied with firecrackers. In addition to that, people set off more firecrackers to bomb the dragon. For more excitement, people travel to Taitung to bomb Master Han Dan. As a symbol of the god, a bare-chested man stands on a sedan chair6 that is carried through the streets while people throw firecrackers at him. However, the best of all is the Beehive Fireworks Festival in Yanshui, Tainan. Instead of bombing a man or a dragon, people who participate get hit with thousands and thousands of firecrackers that are shot into the crowds. Whatever you choose, celebrating the Lantern Festival will bring good health and fortune for the new year.


  • carry a lantern  提燈籠
  • try to solve (lantern) riddles  猜燈謎
  • enjoy beautiful lanterns  賞花燈
  • release sky lanterns  放天燈
  • Yanshui Beehive Fireworks Festival  鹽水蜂炮


1. explode  vi. 爆炸

My can of soda exploded in the freezer.


2. suggest  vt. 顯示

Evidence suggests a link between asthma and air pollution.


3. countless  a. 無數的,數不盡的

There are countless stars in the night sky.


4. portray  vt. 描述;描寫

This book portrayed life in the 1970s.


5. unity n. 團圓;團結

Our team lacks unity because we don't have a leader.


6. thrilling  a. 充滿刺激的;令人興奮的

This is really a thrilling tennis match.


7. individually  adv. 分別地,各自地

Johnny said goodbye to each of his friends individually.


8. launch  vt. 使升空,發射

They will launch a new satellite next month.


9. bomb  vt. 炸,轟炸

The area was bombed heavily in the war.


10. fortune  n. 運氣;財富

William got a huge fortune from his father.





  元宵節的意義就在於個人、家庭、甚至是鬼魂之間能建立起正向的關係。還有什麼方式能比點亮整個夜晚來得更好呢?正如這個節慶的名稱所示,無數個裝飾用的燈籠會被掛在寺廟、住家以及城市裡。這些燈籠的外觀通常會呈現出該年生肖的樣子,而且孩子們會在節慶的當晚將它們提在手上。然而燈籠的設計不僅限於動物而已。許多燈籠的愛好者會花時間參觀每年台北燈節所舉辦的燈籠設計比賽。元宵節的另一項習俗就是吃元宵,也就是一顆顆餡料有甜有鹹的糯米糰子。元宵節象徵著家庭團圓,並且能為所有人帶來圓滿,這也是為何元宵節的這個名稱較為台灣人所知,而非Lantern Festival(燈籠節)。



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