Pingxi Lantern Festival – A Must – See Lighting Event

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Welcome to the Pingxi Lantern Festival, an enchanting event that transforms the night sky of New Taipei City, Taiwan, into a canvas of dreams and lights. 

 

 

 

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Festival highlights

This festival, a mesmerizing blend of tradition and mesmerizing lights, invites visitors from around the world to partake in its age-old custom of lantern releasing. 

Set against the backdrop of the serene Pingxi District, the festival combines cultural richness with the magic of illumination and lanterns. Join us as we explore this captivating festival of lights, where wishes ascend to the heavens and the night glows with hope and beauty.

About the Pingxi Lantern Festival

The Pingxi Lantern Festival is a cherished event steeped in ancient tradition, marking a spectacular finale to the New Year celebrations across Taiwan. Celebrated annually on the 15th day of the first month in the lunar calendar, it symbolizes the culmination of festivities that usher in the lunar new year. This vibrant celebration, lasting from three days to a week, captivates locals and visitors alike, culminating in a breathtaking display of hope and tradition under the first full moon of the lunar year.

The festival’s main highlight is a spectacle of unity and wonder, as people from all walks of life gather to release lanterns into the sky. These lanterns, illuminating the night with their gentle glow, are not just a feast for the eyes but also carriers of wishes and dreams. Each lantern ascending towards the heavens symbolizes the release of wishes, creating a mesmerizing tableau of light and aspiration against the night sky.

Festival Dates (2024)

Mark your calendars for a night of wonder and illumination, as the Pingxi Lantern Festival is set to take place on February 24, 2024,Saturday. This singular date promises an unforgettable experience under the starlit sky of Taiwan. It’s a unique opportunity to witness a centuries-old tradition, where the night comes alive with thousands of lanterns drifting upwards, each carrying its own story.

The 24th of February in 2024 aligns perfectly with the first full moon of the lunar year, making it an auspicious day for this luminous celebration. The festival, while rooted in tradition, unfolds in a contemporary setting, offering a blend of historical charm and modern festivity. As night falls on this date, the Pingxi district transforms into a magical landscape, inviting everyone to be a part of this enchanting festival of lights.

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An image inspired by the captivating Pingxi Lantern Festival

Where It’s Located and How to Get There

The Pingxi Lantern Festival, a mesmerizing event that lights up the Taiwanese sky, is held in the picturesque Pingxi District, part of New Taipei City. Visitors from across the globe converge here to experience the magic of lanterns floating into the night sky. Key locations like Shifen Sky Lantern Square become hubs of activity, brimming with the vibrant energy of festival-goers and the soft glow of countless lanterns. This area, rich in cultural heritage and natural beauty, offers the perfect backdrop for such a luminous celebration.

For international visitors, the nearest airport is Taipei Taoyuan International Airport. From there, you have several options to reach the festival:

  • Taxi: A direct but more expensive option, taking about an hour.
  • Bus and Train: A combination of bus to Taipei Main Station followed by a train to Pingxi, offering a balance of cost and convenience.
  • Car Rental: For those preferring a self-guided journey, car rentals are available at the airport.

To reach the festival location from other cities in Taiwan by train, follow these simple steps:

  • From Taipei: Take a train to Ruifang Station, then switch to the Pingxi Line.
  • From Taichung: Board a train to Taipei Main Station, then transfer to the Pingxi Line at Ruifang Station.
  • From Kaohsiung: Take the High-Speed Rail (HSR) to Taipei, transfer to a local train to Ruifang, and finally hop on the Pingxi Line.

If you liked this festival, you might want to check out these other captivating lights festivals as well:

Thailand Festival of Lights

i Light Singapore

Festival Hours

As the sun sets and the evening sky begins to darken, the festival springs to life, commencing its luminous display from 6:00 PM. These hours, extending until 9:00 PM, are when the Pingxi District transforms into a magical tableau of lights and colors. It’s a time when the community and visitors alike gather to share in the joy and tradition of lantern releasing.

During these enchanting hours, the night sky becomes a canvas for thousands of glowing lanterns, each carrying a wish or a dream. The atmosphere is filled with excitement and anticipation as each lantern is prepared for its journey to the stars. This limited timeframe ensures an intense, memorable experience, concentrated in the most magical part of the evening.

How Much Does It Cost to See the Pingxi Lantern Festival

Attending the Pingxi Lantern Festival, an event that captivates the heart with its beauty and tradition, is delightfully free of charge. This accessibility allows everyone to partake in the joy and splendor of this unique cultural experience. However, it’s important to note that while viewing the festival costs nothing, there is a ticket system in place to manage the crowd and ensure a pleasant experience for all.

Those eager to immerse themselves fully in the festival by participating in the iconic lantern release should plan to arrive early in the morning at the festival locations to secure their tickets. For those who wish to send their wishes skyward with a lantern, these are available for purchase at a modest price of NT$100, approximately $3.21. This small investment allows you to be an active part of this timeless tradition, adding your personal touch to the festival’s tapestry of lights.

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A breathtaking image inspired from the Pingxi Lantern Festival

Weather and What to Wear

February in Pingxi District, New Taipei City, Taiwan, is characterized by a mild and pleasant climate, ideal for outdoor festivities like the Lantern Festival. The temperatures during this time usually range from a cool 14°C (57°F) in the evenings to a comfortable 20°C (68°F) during the day. This temperate weather provides a perfect backdrop for the festival, allowing visitors to enjoy the outdoor spectacle in relative comfort.

For those planning to attend the festival, here’s a list of recommended clothing to ensure a comfortable experience:

  • Light Jacket or Sweater: Essential for the cooler evening temperatures.
  • Comfortable Walking Shoes: Expect some walking around the festival area.
  • Waterproof Clothing: A light raincoat or umbrella, just in case of a drizzle.
  • Layered Clothing: Allows for easy adjustment to changing temperatures throughout the day.
  • Hat and Sunglasses: Useful during the day for protection from the sun.
  • Scarf: Adds an extra layer of warmth for the evening.

Where to Sleep – Hotels Nearby

After a day filled with the enchantment of the Pingxi Lantern Festival, finding a comfortable place to rest is essential. Here are some nearby hotel options, each offering its own blend of comfort, convenience, and local charm.

Pingxi Car Head B & B

  • Location: Situated 31 km from the iconic Taipei 101, nestled in the scenic landscape of the Pingxi area.
  • Description: A charming bed and breakfast offering a tranquil retreat with stunning views of the garden and inner courtyard.
  • Amenities: Guests can enjoy the serene garden view, relax in the cozy rooms, and take advantage of the proximity to local attractions while staying in a peaceful environment.
  • Xi Yin Zhi Su:
    • Location: Situated 25 km away from the famous Taipei 101, nestled in a serene area close to the Pingxi region.
    • Description: Xi Yin Zhi Su offers a peaceful retreat from the bustling city life, providing an intimate and relaxing stay.
    • Amenities: Guests can enjoy the convenience of free Wi-Fi, making it easy to stay connected and plan their festival activities. The proximity to Taipei 101 also allows for easy exploration of one of Taipei’s most iconic landmarks, combining the tranquility of a secluded stay with the excitement of city attractions.

Lapopo

  • Location: Based in Keelung City, just 4.4 km from Shifen Old Street, offering easy access to the festival.
  • Description: A sustainable luxury tent accommodation, perfect for those seeking a unique and eco-friendly lodging experience.
  • Amenities: This property boasts a picturesque picnic area, various sports facilities for active guests, and a commitment to sustainable luxury, making it an ideal choice for environmentally conscious travelers.

Where to Eat

Embark on a culinary adventure in the vicinity of the Pingxi Lantern Festival, where a variety of dining options await to tantalize your taste buds with local flavors.

Shifen Beef Noodle Restaurant

  • Location: Conveniently situated in the Pingxi District, close to the main festival area.
  • Description: A local favorite known for its cozy ambiance and authentic Taiwanese cuisine.
  • Specialties: Signature beef noodles with rich, flavorful broth and tender meat, alongside a variety of traditional Taiwanese dishes.

Noodle Shop

  • Location: Nestled in the heart of the Pingxi District, easily accessible from the festival site.
  • Description: A charming eatery offering a glimpse into local culinary traditions.
  • Specialties: A wide array of noodle dishes, each prepared with fresh, locally-sourced ingredients, highlighting the simplicity and deliciousness of Taiwanese noodle cuisine.

Zheng Da Restaurant

  • Location: Located in a vibrant area of the Pingxi District.
  • Description: A well-known Chinese restaurant renowned for its inviting atmosphere and authentic flavors.
  • Specialties: Offers a diverse menu of classic Chinese dishes, with an emphasis on fresh, seasonal ingredients and traditional cooking methods.

More Things to Do in the Area

Beyond the radiant glow of the Pingxi Lantern Festival, the surrounding area offers a wealth of attractions and activities for a more comprehensive exploration of the region’s beauty and culture.

Shifen Waterfall

  • Location: A short distance from the Pingxi District, easily accessible by local transport.
  • Description: Known as Taiwan’s Niagara Falls, this stunning natural wonder is one of the most famous waterfalls in Taiwan.
  • Activities: Visitors can enjoy scenic walks along the waterfall’s viewing platforms, capture breathtaking photographs, and relax in the serene natural surroundings.

Shifen Old Street

  • Location: Located in the heart of the Pingxi area, close to the festival venue.
  • Description: A bustling, historic street known for its traditional Taiwanese architecture and vibrant atmosphere.
  • Activities: Explore the unique shops selling local crafts, taste traditional street food, and experience the charm of old Taiwan with lantern-making shops and local teahouses.

Wufenshan Trail

  • Location: Situated in the mountains surrounding Pingxi, offering panoramic views of the area.
  • Description: A popular hiking trail known for its breathtaking scenery and peaceful environment.
  • Activities: Hiking enthusiasts can enjoy a trek along the trail, which offers stunning views of the surrounding landscape, including lush forests and distant mountains.

An Illuminating Conclusion: Wrapping Up Your Spectacular Visit to the Pingxi Lantern Festival

As the lanterns float gently into the night sky, the Pingxi Lantern Festival stands as a testament to the beauty and tradition of Taiwanese culture. This festival, set against the backdrop of the picturesque Pingxi District, offers an experience that goes beyond just the visual spectacle of lights. 

From savoring local delicacies and exploring historic streets to embracing the natural beauty of waterfalls and trails, the festival provides a holistic cultural journey. As the lanterns carry wishes to the heavens, visitors leave with memories of a lifetime, making the Pingxi Lantern Festival a truly unforgettable experience.

FAQ

Is there designated parking available for the festival?

Yes, there are designated parking areas near the festival site. However, due to the large crowds, it’s advisable to use public transport to avoid congestion.

Can I smoke at the festival?

Smoking is not allowed at the festival grounds to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience for all visitors, especially considering the presence of paper lanterns.

Are pets allowed at the Pingxi Lantern Festival?

Pets are generally not recommended at the festival due to the large crowds and the potential risk posed by the lanterns.

Can I bring my own food and drinks to the festival?

Yes, you can bring your own food and drinks. However, it’s also a great opportunity to try the local cuisine from the various food stalls and eateries around the festival.

Is the festival accessible for people with disabilities?

The festival area is accessible, but the large crowds can make navigation challenging. It’s advisable for visitors with disabilities to plan their visit during less crowded times and to use the accessible paths provided.

Are there restroom facilities available at the festival?

Yes, there are portable restrooms available at various locations around the festival grounds.

What should I do in case of an emergency?

There are medical and security personnel on-site for emergencies. It’s recommended to familiarize yourself with the location of these services upon arrival.

Can I participate in releasing a lantern?

Yes, you can participate in lantern releasing. Lanterns are available for purchase at the festival, and there are designated areas and times for releasing them.

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An image of floating sky lanterns inspired from the Pingxi Lantern Festival

Sources:

https://nationaltoday.com/lantern-festival-taiwan/

https://edisontours.com/news/everything-you-need-to-know-about-the-pingxi-sky-lantern-festival-in-taipei/

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