If you are looking for an amazing and unique experience, look no further than the Pingxi Sky Lantern Festival in Taipei. This incredible festival is held every year and it is a must-see event for anyone visiting Taiwan. Most tourists come to Taiwan to see the sights in Taipei, but the Pingxi Sky Lantern Festival is definitely worth a visit.
In this article, we will provide all of the information that you need to know about the Pingxi Sky Lantern Festival so that you can make the most of your visit. We will cover everything from when it is held to what to do around town!
What is the Pingxi Sky Lantern Festival?
The Pingxi Sky Lantern Festival first started in 1999 and has over 20 years of history, but the practice of setting off lanterns into the starry night sky is a centuries-old event that is held every year in the small town of Pingxi. This beautiful event sees thousands of lanterns released into the sky, creating an incredible and unforgettable sight. The lanterns are made from paper and bamboo, and they are lit with a small candle or paraffin-soaked paper. Once they are lit, the lanterns float away into the sky, creating a stunning display.
Historically, the Sky Lanterns date back to the Qing Dynasty. At the time, Pingxi was a distant but rather affluent district of early Taipei, but with affluence came risks. Pingxi was always targeted by bandits, and because of this, the people of Pingxi would seek refuge in the mountains. Sky lanterns would be flown in the air to signal them that it is safe to return back.
Today, these lanterns are used to send off people’s wishes and manifestations for the year, a form of New Year’s resolution or well wishes, if you may.
When is the Pingxi Lantern Festival held?
The Pingxi Sky Lantern Festival is usually held on the 15th day of the first lunar month or every February. Although you don’t need to wait for the Lantern festival to be able to send up a lantern to the sky, travelers can light up a lantern at any time of the year. The Pingxi Lantern Festival, however, brings 100,000 and even more lanterns as it is celebrated by the locals as well.
How to get tickets?
As the years go by and the attendance to the Pingxi Sky Lantern Festival grows, thanks to the global attention it has been getting, the festival has now become a hand-in-hand project between the private and public sectors. Tickets to the festival are free, but you will need to be at the Pingxi Sky Lantern location early in the morning in order to get one. If you wish to release a lantern the tickets will also include a set time and area for you to release it. Four people can get a ticket for one lantern, so if you have a large travel group, you can simply divide the group in fours.
How to get to the Pingxi Sky Lantern location?
Pingxi is located just outside of Taipei, and it is very easy to get to. There are many ways to get there, which we have outlined below:
Take the MRT to Taipei Main Station and from Taipei Main Station, take a train to Ruifang Station and then the shuttle bus to the location. You can check the schedule of the train here.
Tour buses will have specific tours and routes heading to the Pingxi Sky Lantern location and back to Taipei, some routes may start from Keelung or Jiufen. The ride to Pingxi would usually take you about 2 hours from Taipei.
If you’re a bit anxious about shared public transportation, you can also ride a taxi to get to Shifen. One way will cost around NTD1,000 and you can also ask the driver to wait for you but it will come at an extra cost.
What to do around Pingxi?
There are plenty of things to do around Pingxi, and you will certainly not be bored! One popular activity is to visit one of the many Sky Lantern shops. Here, you can purchase your own lantern and write a message on it. Once you have lit your lantern, you can release it into the sky!
Aside from the Sky Lantern shops, there are a ton of shophouses around Pingxi that sell different kinds of goods and souvenirs that you should not miss out on! Most of these shops are located along Pingxi Street, and this street is parallel to a railroad where a lot of travelers and locals release their lanterns during the off-seasons.
The Taiwan Coal Mine Museum is also another tourist attraction located in Pingxi. This museum is built beside the actual mine so you can go inside and experience what it’s like to be a miner!
What to eat in Pingxi?
Shifen old street is the place to go if you’re looking for a food trip in Taipei. Food stalls dot the small narrow street, and one thing you must try to see the difference is Bubble Tea. Bubble tea in most countries outside of Taipei focuses too much on the flavors and sugars, locally made bubble tea that you can get along Shifen old street has the chewiest or “QQ” as the locals say, boba ever!
Enjoy the Sky Lantern Festival in Pingxi!
So there you have it! A quick guide on everything you need to know about the Pingxi Sky Lantern Festival in Taipei! This is surely an experience you will never forget, and we hope this guide has been helpful in preparing you for your trip. Make sure to get your tickets, accommodation, and transportation booked and all ready!
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