There are various Chinese lantern festivals happening in Taiwan’s big cities every year! Lantern festivals in Taiwan take place just after the lunar new year (Chinese New Year) and make for a unique travel experience. You should go to see amazing art work in lantern form.
Where is the sky lantern festival in Taiwan?
When it comes to lantern festivals, you may think of the sky lantern festival which is popular in Taiwan’s Pingxi area. Although, the Pingxi lantern festival is just one side of the many forms seen in Chinese lantern festivals.
If you visit Pingxi, you can write on a lantern and send it up into the sky at night. It’s an activity you can expect to do throughout most of the year.
How much are Taiwan festivals?
Free. It’s amazing that there are so many major Taiwan festivals that are completely free. Without a doubt, a lot of money is spent to prepare and run these events, but what’s surprising is that they don’t charge anything for the event.
Are food/drinks overpriced at a Taiwan festival?
No! You can expect to pay the same prices you would see at a night market…which is pretty low. It’s not common to see price gouging in Taiwan. Even TPE Airport keeps prices very affordable.
When are the Taiwan Lantern Festivals?
You’ll typically find the Taiwan lantern festival occurring 1-2 weeks after Chinese New Year’s ends, which is based on the lunar year. If you plan on attending one of Taiwan’s lantern festivals, don’t arrive in Taiwan the week of Chinese New Year.
During Chinese New Year in Taiwan, most services and businesses operate with very limited availability. Many places close down because Chinese New Year in Taiwan is a week to spend with your family. It’s not the best time to visit Taiwan.
Where is the biggest Taiwan lantern festival?
Taiwan has a giant lantern festival in one host city every year. That host city changes each year so you’ll have to do some research if you want to find the biggest one! The 2020 Chinese lantern festival happened in Taichung and was nicknamed the “Dazzling City.” I attended that Taiwan festival and it was outstanding. The big 2021 Taiwan lantern festival will be held in Hsinchu.
What can to expect at a Taiwan Lantern Festival?
A festival is just a mild party! You can expect food, games, music and a live show!
I was very impressed at the 2020 Taoyuan Lantern Festival because they had a lantern dragon that moved and blew smoke from it’s nose (no actual fire). Along with the show which was almost at the level of a cirque du soleil show!
The Taoyuan lantern festival brought in a French acrobatic troupe to perform a show with their lantern dragon. The shows were 30-minutes every hour, 4-times each evening. The show was available for the (about) 10-day duration of the Taoyuan lantern festival.
Each of the big cities in Taiwan have a lantern festival but the duration of the event depends on each city. Do your research early, and if you’re looking for Taiwan’s 2021 lantern festival, that will be held in Hsinchu.
Planning your Taiwan Lantern Festival trip
Chinese Lantern Festival Tips
Go late! If the festival ends at 10pm, show up at 9pm. Many families with children attend the Taiwan lantern festivals early, but they won’t stay too late. The last hour makes it easier to take pictures, walk around and it’s a generally more pleasant experience. For the national lantern festivals, you will need several hours if you want to see everything.
Wear a mask! At peak hours, you might find yourself in a sea of people when visiting any type of Taiwan festival. For health reasons, many people wear a mask to protect themselves from getting sick.
Eat before/after the Taiwan lantern festival! The lines for food, drinks and restrooms can be quite long. You might try to get a “quick meal” at the lantern festival then learn you spent over an hour doing so. Bring your own provisions to save time.
Bring a small bag! Trash cans aren’t available but you’ll find some at the entrances/exits. Littering is not an option so carry a small bag with you for your trash and provisions when traversing the lantern festival.
Stay in the city! Minimize your travel time to the Chinese lantern festival by staying in the host city. If your planning on a day trip to the event, be prepared for a VERY crowded commute.
Taichung 2020 Lantern Festival: Dazzling City
Taiwan’s biggest lantern festival was held in Taichung for the 2020 event. It occurs right after Chinese New Year and lasts several weeks. Here’s a few pictures of the event and if you’d like to see a walk through of most of the sights, you can find that in the YouTube video.