The 16-day Taiwan Lantern Festival came to an end on the night of February 23, 2020, following a few wonderful performing events. Counting down together, the attendants witnessed the lighting up of the main lantern - the “Guardian Tree of Taiwan.” Glowing laser light made the sky look colorful, event at night. Amid impressive music and visual effects, plus people’s acclaims, the festival made a new record for lantern aesthetics.
Taiwan Lantern Festival is Taiwan’s most world-famous lantern-day event. While preventing COVID-19 transmission becomes an extra task this year, the organizer makes sure the festival is as joyous as tradition goes, and raises awareness for global environment protection. Humanity-inspired, the festival introduces creativity to policy, and uses the following three themes - “design aesthetics and craftsmanship,” “tradition and innovation,” and “communicating with the world through art” - to bring Taiwan Lantern Festival to an even finer level. Such marks the start of “Taiwan Lantern Festival 2.0.” This year, the festival made four breakthroughs:
1. Enhancing the power of design, introducing art aesthetics
To maintain and enhance the power of design of previous lantern festivals, early on during the preparation period, a seminar on “design for tourism” entitled “Drawing the World to Taiwan” was held. Using the festival as an art exhibition, the organizer also invited world-renowned artists to show their works at the festival. Such an idea was widely embraced.
2. Bringing together the main lantern and installation art - a highly acknowledged act
This was the first time the festival used the theme of“tree” to present the main lantern, and the result is the “Guardian Tree of Taiwan” created by world-famous artist Lin Shun-lung. The artistic installation looks unique no matter at dusk or dawn. Visitors are free to explore it in and out. What a new way to present the main lantern!
3. A display of light and shades, as well as local industries
Introducing the art of light, the organizer turned the festival into a large-scale design fair. “Heart of Everlasting Light” and the high-tech lantern area incorporate mechanical devices and light and shades to build a carnival of lanterns and a kingdom of light.
4. Introducing immersion theatre to create new sensory experiences
For the first time, the festival used the concept of “environmental theatre” to present its lanterns. There were the main lantern, the “Heart of Everlasting Light” installation, the gigantic insect device, and performing drones. A genie parade was even held at closing time. The theatre-inspired arrangement allowed visitors to enjoy the festival differently through their five senses.
Minister of Transport and Communications Lin Chia-lung noted at the closing ceremony that this year’s festival is truly special. Affected by the COVID-19 outbreak, to let people watch lanterns without worrying about disease transmission, thorough preventive measures were taken during the festival period. The organizer made sure that the festival site was hygienic enough for those coming to watch lanterns. In fact, the public did show confidence in the government for maintaining public health and boosting tourism. These have all helped to increase event quality. The organizer thanked all the participating units for their kind assistance, which made the 31st Taiwan Lantern Festival possible. This year’s experience shall serve as a great reference for holding large-scale events in the future. The organizer invited everyone to pray for Taiwan and the world, so that the outbreak will subside quickly.
Next year, the festival will be held in Hsinchu City. Hsinchu Deputy Mayor Shen Hui-hung attended the closing ceremony with her team. The 2021 Taiwan Lantern Festival will use technology acquired from Hsinchu Technology Park to present the Old Hsinchu Train Station and Hsinchu Old Moat, turning Hsinchu into a city of light and giving the festival 2.0 a whole new look. Taiwan’s central government and Hsinchu City Government in 2021 will show the beauty of Taiwan Lantern Festival again to the world - please look forward to the event!