The Lantern Festival or the Spring Lantern Festival is a Chinese festival celebrated on the fifteenth day of the first month in the lunisolar Chinese calendar. Usually falling in February or early March on the Gregorian calendar, it marks the final day of the traditional Chinese New Year celebrations.
TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — The 2020 Pingxi Sky Lantern Festival will take place Feb. 1 and Feb. 8 and see up to 150 sky lanterns taking to the skies at the same time, according to a New Taipei City Travel press release on Monday (Jan. 6).
This year’s sky lantern festivities will take place at Pingxi Junior High School from 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. on Feb. 1. Also, at Shifen Sky Lantern Square from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. on Feb. 8, when Taiwan celebrates Lantern Festival.
Free tickets will be handed out at the venues on Feb. 1 and 8 for those wishing to set off up to 100 lanterns together. According to the press release, only in Pingxi at this time of the year can you experience such moments.
The place to be in Shifen is the main stage where normally a parking lot is, within a 10 – 15 minute walk from the train station. Try to arrive early enough – by noon – to buy and prepare your own lantern (around 200 NTD) and to sign up (free of charge) so you can release it during one of the spectacular mass release events at the stage. Make sure you find a spot by 4pm before 80,000+ visitors swarm the town.
Travelling to the Pingxi Sky Lantern Festival 2020
By train: you can travel from the main station in Taipei changing at Ruifang for Shifen (train timetable in English).
By bus: there are shuttle buses offered by tour operators running from Taipei, Keelung and Jiufen. In Taipei they depart from Muzha MRT station.
By taxi: a one-way trip by taxi will cost you about 1,000 NTD + waiting time if you want to ensure your ride back.
Trains and buses will be packed during the festival so make sure you’re back on time to grab a seat on the last train or bus.