Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Taiwan Day 2 Night - Lantern Festival

 Though Ron and I were totally exhausted from the full day funeral, there were still much fun to be had once we arrived in Taipei.  We were originally suppose to go to a town outside of the main downtown Taipei city called Dan Shui.  Dan Shui is where my grandmother lives, however, she usually spends Fri-Mon at my cousin Gina's, who lives in the heart of Taipei city.  So, Ron and I made some phone calls, confirmed that my grandma was indeed at Gina's, and headed there. 
We just happened to be in Taiwan during the Lantern Festival.  This was one of my absolute favorite holidays when I was young.  There's a lot more to it then just Lanterns - a story for the purpose of the holiday, food that you're suppose to eat, etc.  I'm sure if you google it you can find lots of info on it.  But, I LOVED the lanterns.  When I was in elementary school, making your own lanterns would be a part of a homework assignment.  Back then, we'd use bamboo and clear plastic cellophane type paper.
We would make these lanterns and then on the actual holiday itself we'd light them (there'd be a candle inside) and we'd walk around our neighborhood with all our neighbors walking around too.
Well, things sure have changed since those days!  Gina lives roughly 2-3 blocks away from the Sun Yet Sen Memorial Hall and that's where the main Taipei city lantern festival events were held.  Ron and I decided to check it out once we got our bags settled. The lanterns were incredible!  There were people who sold lots of glow in the dark things, and apparently the government now passes out paper lanterns that you can fold into different shapes and it comes with a nice little color changing light bulb.  The Memorial grounds were jammed pack with people.  And there was a laser light and fountain show every hour on the hour.
We LOVED it!  It was so fun and so beautiful. Ron and I tried to track down the free lanterns for our kids but we didn't have much luck that night.  We found some that you can wear on your head so we bought those.  Because it was the year of the dragon, all the paper-folding lanterns were in the shape of dragons.  We ended up going home that night around 11pm and finally called it a night.

 As you can see, Angry Birds are also very popular in Taiwan. :o)
 Hehe, wouldn't be Taiwan if you didn't see some Gundams.

 Lanterns hanging up across the actual Memorial Hall

 The laser fountain show.

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