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Destination Reports

Lighting lanterns in Taiwan
February 2017 2655

Taiwan's major cultural and social event is around the corner. The 15th of the first lunar month, known as 'Minor New Year,' is the Lantern Festival and the tail end of New Year activities. The entire island rallies around the date, preparing to add their own touch and celebrate the Lantern Festival, this year from February 11 to 19. Traditionally, firecrackers and colourful fireworks are set off and hand-held lanterns or torches are lit.

In the past, festive lanterns were displayed in front of every major temple, and if people wanted to appreciate these lanterns they had to rush from one temple to the next.

But now, the path to enjoying the Taiwan Lantern Festival has been streamlined by the tourism bureau. The inspiration for such a ‘bundling’ of tourism focused activities around the traditional red letter day on the calendar is inspired from the way Germany markets Oktoberfest, or Japan presents the Hokkaido Snow Festival.

This event is now entering its 24th year. In the early years, the venue for the festival was primarily fixed at Taipei's National Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall, but in 2001 county cities began to compete to hold the event.

TTN has learnt that aside from the main theme, lanterns whose form is based on the Chinese zodiac animal of the particular year, there is a diverse display of lantern art. It is a family holiday celebration experience worth every moment for there lies pleasant possibilities of discovery, cultural exchange and sharing the joyous festivities. The Taiwan Tourism Bureau is encouraging visitors to attend the 2017 Taiwan Lantern Festival in Yunlin and Lantern Festival activities in other cities and counties.


Group offers

All visitors who purchase a full-package product that includes a Lantern Festival event in Taiwan from an overseas travel agent (not including visitors who buy just flight and hotel accommodation) will be given a 2017 Year of the Rooster small handheld lantern. If the itinerary includes attending the 2017 Lantern Festival in Yunlin, a limited edition local Yunlin gift and viewing-stand ticket will also be given (the viewing-stand ticket cannot be used during the opening and closing ceremonies).

E-visa to Taiwan: Taiwan has introduced e-visa programme for nationals of six Gulf Cooperation Council countries – Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. Fee for e-visa is Dh185 ($50) and validity is 30 days.

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