Date and Location
The 2015 Taiwan Lantern Festival is currently in full swing and will continue to light up the night in Taichung until Sunday, March 15th, 2015.
The festival is spread out and is divided into three locations this year. Here is a little intro of each area.
 The ‘Main Lantern’ Area
The ‘Main Lantern’ area is conveniently located near the Taichung High Speed Railway Station in Wuri District this year. I went there on Friday night and I must say that it was all extremely organized. You park in one of the large parking lots and hop on the waiting bus that will bring you right to the entrance of the festival [and vice versa when you are returning to your car.]
To get there, you can drive or take the HSR to Taichung Station. Taking the ‘normal’ train is also an option as well.
[More info below.]
 Taichung Park
Just a short walk from the Taichung Train Station, Taichung Park is also decorated with lights and lanterns. The main goat lantern from the 2002 Taiwan Lantern Festival is on display there with a lighting show as well.
The area of Taichung, known as Fengyuan, has an area displaying lanterns.
The 2015 Taiwan Lantern Festival – The Main Area
If you can only go to one of these areas, then I suggest you skip the smaller ones and head directly to the main lantern area. There is more than enough to keep you occupied for hours, even for an entire night. Plus, after exploring this area, the other ones may fail to impress in comparison as there are so many amazing lanterns to see here. There are performances held daily to entertain as well. For a complete list, check out the official Taiwan Lantern Festival website.
We arrived in the late afternoon, just before dusk, so we could grab a bite to eat before we started exploring. Here is a glimpse of what you can see and information about some of the areas which impressed me!
Competition Lantern Area
We checked out the competition lantern area first. I always try to see this section right from the get-go, as most of the lanterns are made by elementary and junior high students in Taiwan. There is a method to my thinking as they are more simplistic in design and I fear I may not appreciate them as much if I were to see the more elaborate ones first.
The two pictures below were the competition winners in their respective categories. I loved the one designed by the elementary school student but the one made by the junior high student left me in awe as it was so detailed!!
The ‘Welcoming Gates’
Each year, the designers come up with new ‘gates’ to greet and welcome festival goers. These ‘gates’ always stand out because they are quite large and usually very cool in terms of design. This year they had three gates [unfortunately, I didn’t take a picture of one – well, not yet. I plan on going back again.] One represents the head-piece of a goddess while the other one is an apple with butterflies.
The Main Lantern Area
The main lantern this year, named the ‘Lucky Ram Offering Bundles of Joy,’ stands tall at whopping 23.4 meters. It may be the tallest ever and the lighting show may be the coolest by far, but the dragon from two years ago was by far my favorite ever. [However, that is just my personal opinion.] The ram lights up and changes into several patterns instead of just different colors like the main lantern did in previous years. Plus, it has a new feature this year – the word ‘Taiwan’ is featured on the ram throughout the show as well as the Chinese characters for ‘lucky ram’ and a single red lantern.
The three-minute lighting show occurs at the top and the bottom of the hour, starting at 6 p.m. There are also fireworks around 9 p.m. each night.
The secondary lanterns are four larger lanterns scattered around the festival grounds. One looks like a private ship called ‘Sailing Dreams’ while another has a dragon head and a fish tail and is referred to as ‘Leaping Fish Transforms into Dragons.’ The other two are shaped as animals as well – one is a phoenix and the other is a ram.
Lantern Exchange Area
There are several lanterns at that festival that are on lend from China. These lanterns are more of a traditional nature and depict elements of Chinese culture. The area contains a combination of dragons and gods as well as traditional Chinese architecture.
Photos From Other Areas
These photos were taken around other sections of the festival. A description is given below each picture!
If this post and pictures haven’t convinced you that the festival is worth attending, then maybe you should check out an earlier post of mine which was written last year – 10 Reasons to Attend the Taiwan Lantern Festival!
Have you ever attended a lantern festival or lighting show of some kind? Please tell me all about it in the comment box below.
And last, but certainly not least, I leave you with a video!