Tainan Unveils 2024 Taiwan Lantern Festival Main Lantern and Handheld Lanterns, Mayor Invites Everyone To Come Join The Fun In Tainan
A press conference for the 2024 Taiwan Lantern Festival in Tainan was held at the Grand Hotel Taipei on January 3. The main lantern for this year’s festival, “Dragon Comes to Taiwan”, was jointly unveiled by the Minister of Transportation and Communications Wang Kwo-tsai, Director-General of the MOTC Tourism Administration Chou Yung-Hui, Tainan City Mayor Huang Wei-che, and the designer Peng Li-chen. The handheld lantern Xiaolongbao (“small dragon purse”), which is very popular among children, was also revealed at the press conference.
Tainan City Mayor Huang Wei-che expressed that it is Tainan’s pleasure to host the Taiwan Lantern Festival again after 16 years and thanked many people for making this happen. For the Year of the Dragon, Tainan City and the Central Government will work together to plan a joyful and exciting Taiwan Lantern Festival. Huang also complimented the designer on the intricate design of the main lantern, saying it will undoubtedly be the festival’s highlight this year. The adorable Xiaolongbao handheld lanterns will very likely become a beloved collection piece for the public as well.
The Mayor invited everyone to “come to Taiwan, come to Tainan” during the Lunar New Year. In addition to the Lantern Festival, visitors can enjoy the Taiwan International Orchid Show during the day and the Yuejin Lantern Festival and Yanshui Beehive Fireworks at night. This year is a special year for Tainan as the city marks its “Tainan 400” milestone. Friends from abroad and at home are invited to Tainan to witness this special occasion and take part in the exciting festivities.
According to Minister of Transportation and Communications Wang Kwo-tsai, this year’s Lantern Festival is significant as it is the first to be held in Tainan City after the Merger (of former Tainan County and City) and the first edition organized after the establishment of the Tourism Administration. When it comes to planning the event, the Tainan City Government and the Tourism Administration won’t hold anything back. Hopefully, the main lantern “Dragon Comes to Taiwan” will draw more overseas tourists to Taiwan.
The 2024 Taiwan Lantern Festival in Tainan includes two major exhibition areas: the Anping Lantern Area (Feb. 3 – Mar. 10) and the HSR Lantern Area (Feb. 24 – Mar. 10). Located in the HSR Lantern Area, the main lantern’s dragon stands 18 meters tall (22 meters including the base). Designer Peng Li-chen was inspired by the charm and form of the soaring dragons on the Tainan Grand Mazu Temple’s front stone columns. Since the HSR Lantern Area is within Tainan Shalun Green Energy Science City, Professor Fu Yaw-Syan and his R&D team from the National University of Tainan’s Department of Greenergy brought elements such as solar power packaging material EVA and the sustainable green energy element C60 into the main lantern. Moreover, the main lantern is solar-powered, which significantly lowers Tainan’s overall electricity use and symbolizes the city’s commitment to sustainable development.
This year’s handheld lantern Xiaolongbao transforms the dragon into an adorable purse that doubles as a collectible toy. The dragon’s head can hold a few light items or small toys, and its body is a long strap which can be worn around the neck, on the shoulder, or across the chest as an eye-catching accessory. The lantern’s coin-sized opening located above the light inside the dragon’s mouth is another interesting design: the hole is sealed when the mouth is closed, but the objects on top will fall into the mouth when it opens.