On Sunday evening, I was lucky enough to attend Yilan's Lantern Festival celebrations. Sunday was the final day of Chinese New Year, which lasts 12 days I believe. Last year I saw some lanterns in Yuli, but it was nothing compared to what Yilan had. Though I've heard the most elaborate celebrations are in Tainan. We had to drive about 10-15 minutes to get to the park where the festival was being held. Parking was a nightmare, but we finally found a spot and waded through the crowds at a makeshift nightmarket (arguably larger than Yilan's nightmarket). All the while I could hear and see fireworks going off somewhere ahead. When we got to the park, I was stunned by the decorations, I found it to be quite amazing! There were walkways through what seemed like a tunnel of lights, lanterns in the small pond, bands, light shows, and best of all, tons of little displays or scenes made up of different sizes of lanterns, shaped like everything imaginable. I really enjoyed attending, though we were only there for a short time. Here are a couple of pictures below, I would have liked to have taken more, but the crowds and time just didn't permit it.
In other news, I'm off to Yuli this afternoon until Saturday, and I start classes on Monday with a rather full week, including teaching in Hualian on Thursday!