The first lantern area to be lit in the 2013 Taipei Lantern Festival, “Happy Lantern Sea,” will shine in the evening of February 6 in the center of Taipei City! Held for 11 days, the main exhibition area of the “2013 Taipei Lantern Festival” will be on display at Taipei Expo Park from February 21 to March 3. In addition to lantern areas divided by theme in the Expo Park, be the first to visit the beautiful, romantic, and profoundly urban Happy Lantern Sea on Chungshan N. Road above ground and in the park along the MRT route. The Happy Lantern Sea was officially unveiled today (2/6), with Taipei City Mayor Hau Lung-pin presiding, and will accompany everyone through the Chinese New Year of the Snake.
The Lantern Sea this year at the Taipei Lantern Festival is very different! With respect to exhibition duration, this is the first time the lanterns will be lit prior to Chinese New Year and it will become a unique tourist attraction during the Chinese New Year holiday. With respect to exhibition location, this is also the first time the location has changed and 2 strips of Lantern Seas will be added including: Chungshan N. Road Sec. 1-3 (Civic Blvd. to the Taipei Fine Arts Museum, about 2.9 kilometers) and the aboveground linear parks from MRT Minquan W. Road station to Yuanshan station (approximately 1.1 kilometers) for a total length of 4 kilometers and the longest Lantern Sea in Taipei City history.
With respect to content, it is even more ingenious. Echoing the theme of this lantern festival, “Happy Taipei” history expert Chuang Yung-ming and historical sites expert Li Chien-lang were invited to come up with ideas for the Happy Sea of Lanterns. Chungshan N. Road, which used to be Taipei’s modern “Tourist Avenue” and a witness to all the city’s changes, will be designed in 10 major themes according to the memories Taipei residents have of Chungshan N. Road and Yuanshan and according to the characteristics of each section of the road. The themes are: “Welcome Spring Invite Fortune” (Civic Blvd. to Chang’an W. Road), “Happy Chinese New Year” (Chang’an W. Road to Nanjing W. Road), “Play in Taipei” (Nanjing W. Road to Changchun Road), “Fine Lighting Environment” (Changchun Road to Minsheng W. Road), “Happy Family” (Minsheng W. Road to Jinxi Street), “Zhongshan Civic Hall” (Jinxi Street to Minquan W. Road), “Love Wedding Street”(Minquan W. Road to Nong’an Street), “Second Home in Taipei” (Nong’an Street to Dehui Street), “Love Earth” (Dehui Street to Minzu W. Road) “Romantic Happy Wind Chimes” (Minzu W. Road to Taipei Fine Arts Museum footbridge).
At the site of the press conference, Li Chien-lang was invited to share stories of old Chungshan N. Road structures such as the Japanese/Western-style “Mackay Memorial Hospital”, an important relic of Taiwan’s medical history, or Chungshan Bridge located in Yuanshan, an even more representative landmark of Taipei’s early years. Happy Lantern Sea’s “Play in Taipei” forms representative structures such as the Grand Hotel, early Chungshan Bridge, and Mackay Memorial Hospital from strings of lights. Through the use of bus decorations, the public is led through time to see the Chungshan N. Road of their memories. “Love Wedding Street” combines the characteristics of Chungshan N. Road’s wedding street in the design of two linked hearts and the word “love” to forge feelings of happiness. The sidewalks to either side of the Taipei Fine Arts Museum section that is closest to the primary Taipei Expo Park exhibition site and will bring everyone a unique surprise. Hanging lights with a multitude of wind chimes will emit crisp and pleasant tones with the refreshing breeze. “Romantic Happy Wind Chimes” is the section most suited for a stroll and will allow visitors to enjoy the beauty of the Taipei Lantern Festival.
The content of the linear park from MRT Minquan W. Road to Yuanshan station also contains ten well-designed themes. Visitors are recommended to exit at exit 1 of Minquan W. Road station and walk along the right towards Yuanshan to sequentially enjoy “Butterfly’s Dreams of Zhuang Zhou,” “Love Time,” “Legend of the White Snake,” “Trail of Wonderful Times,” “Shining Light Trail,” and “Happy Lantern Tree.” After reaching Yuanshan station, turn around, and you will be able to continue to tour the themes of “Zoo of Our Memories,” “Kaleidoscope,” “Rolling Future,” and “Yuanshan Culture.”
The areas themed around animals such as “Zoo of Our Memories” and “Kaleidoscope” allow Taipei residents to remember the good times of the past when they visited the Yuanshan Zoo. “Love Time” and “Shining Light Trail” utilize a romantic aesthetic style to present fantastical feelings. Lovers and families are welcome to tour the lantern areas and experience a cozy lantern festival.
The 2013 Taipei Lantern Festival’s Happy Lantern Sea employs the two primary concepts of “Seed of Hope” and “Love Time” throughout its themes. In addition to hoping the seeds of hope germinate successfully under the care of people as a symbol of wishes coming through in the New Year, we have also combined love stories (i.e. Legend of the White Snake) and memories of love to allow everyone to take part in scenes from beautiful romantic stories when walking through the time tunnel.
Taipei City Mayor Hau Lung-pin stated: “Chungshan N. Road is a roadway filled with history. Today, it is still the gathering place for major fashion brands, renowned hotels, and boutiques. Through the lighting of the Happy Lantern Sea, this road with a century of style will highlight its prosperity and romance under the ornamentation of the Lantern Sea. This time, by lighting the Happy Lantern Sea before Chinese New Year, it not only becomes a good place to visit for city residents, but also welcomes everyone in the nation to come to Taipei for Chinese New Year during the nine-day holiday and tour the Happy Lantern Sea, hand in hand, with dearest family and loved ones.”
Huang Lu Chin-ju, Commissioner of the Taipei City Government’s Department of Civil Affairs, stated: “For the 2013 Taipei Lantern Festival, in addition to lantern areas planned according to different themes in the Taipei Expo Park, a bright Lantern Sea covers Chungshan N. Road along its route to the Expo Park. Whether by bus, car, or on foot, people will be able to not just appreciate the themes on different streets while passing the Lantern Sea, but also to feel a happy atmosphere. In addition, there are also various Lantern Sea themes between MRT Minquan W. Road station and MRT Yuanshan station that are diversely shaped and styled. Hopefully, the public will be able view the Lantern Sea carefully on foot.”
The exhibition period of the 2013 Taipei Lantern Festival’s Happy Lantern Sea runs from February 6 to March 3. Lantern Sea lights are lit everyday from 5:30 to 11:30. Those going to the Taipei Expo Park to view the lanterns should not miss this opportunity!! For event information please visit: http://www.taipeilanternfestival.com/en/lantern-intro.php