"The Lantern Celebrations" - Taiwan
For good luck in the coming year, people in the southern city of Taitung throw a massive amount of burning firecrackers at a man masquerading as the God Handan. This is done while parading through the streets with the men impersonating the god standing on an elevated wooden chair, wearing nothing but shorts. The man must show no pain from the firework’s sting, in this act of faith and bravery.
In the coastal region of Tainan, hundreds of fearless locals participate in a one of a kind event that features the loudest blasts of firecrackers and splendid fireworks displays, honoring the annual welcoming of the God of War.
While in the capital, the ‘Taipei Lantern Festival’ is a modern take on Lunar New Years. Millions of spectators come each year to see the humongous animal lantern displays.
North of Taipei, in the mountainous village of Pingsi, The Sky Lanterns Festival features thousands of handmade lanterns, each one carrying a personal wish. In the past, Pingsi residents used these types of lanterns for communication with the nearby villages in times of war. The lanterns that carry written prayers and hopes for the gods create a memorable vision when they are all released to the sky at the same time.
Off the Beaten Path
Off the Beaten Path: