Miaoli Lantern Festival

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Photos by MJ Klein – photos are geotagged

Hui-chen and I attended the recent Lantern Festival in Miaoli.  The festival is over now but we wanted to show you what we saw.

Miaoli Lantern Festival

This is one of several parking lots for the event.  There were shuttle buses to take people to and from the event.  This year’s festival was a lot larger than I had imagined and news reports put the attendance at over 1 million people!

Miaoli Lantern Festival

We waited about 15 minutes to board a bus to take us over to the event.

Miaoli Lantern Festival

Once we arrived we were hit with an onslaught of very loud music.  It was so loud that we didn’t dare venture any closer to it.  This is the religious area, with religious-themed lantern displays.  Why they were blasting heavy metal music is beyond either of us.  We declined to visit this area.

Miaoli Lantern Festival

We headed towards the lighted gate up ahead.

Miaoli Lantern Festival

Miaoli Lantern Festival

This gate looked cool in the approaching twilight.

Miaoli Lantern Festival

The gate was also a lantern, as this closeup reveals.

Miaoli Lantern Festival

We passed this sign and I snapped it.

Miaoli Lantern Festival

This was the main drag.

Miaoli Lantern Festival

Along this path were corporate displays.

Miaoli Lantern Festival

I noticed something that I have never seen before at such an event, an emergency medical station.  A sign of a well-organized event.

Miaoli Lantern Festival

More shots along the main drag.

Miaoli Lantern Festival

Miaoli Lantern Festival

I forget which display it was, but, there was one of those annoying, high-pitched women bantering about something in Chinese, until she saw me.  Then the rudimentary English started up as she welcomed me to Taiwan.  I really wish they wouldn’t do that.

Miaoli Lantern Festival

This place was huge! It went on for days!

Miaoli Lantern Festival

We ventured down one of the side streets looking for some food.

Miaoli Lantern Festival

The food area was basically like any night market in Taiwan.

Miaoli Lantern Festival

Miaoli Lantern Festival

We walked up one side and down the other before making any decisions about what to get.  We ended up getting some very disappointing mountain pig cooked at one of the aboriginal restaurants.

Miaoli Lantern Festival

Returning to the main drag, we approached this large structure.

Miaoli Lantern Festival

Miaoli Lantern Festival

Miaoli Lantern Festival

Miaoli Lantern Festival

This was very impressive looking in person.  It was a huge cube of red (and yellow) lanterns.

Miaoli Lantern Festival

Miaoli Lantern Festival

We took a right turn and went inside the area through the “Peace Gate.”

Miaoli Lantern Festival

This really looked cool.

Miaoli Lantern Festival

Miaoli Lantern Festival

We then took a left and went into what turned out to be the main open area of the festival.

Miaoli Lantern Festival

They say that Taiwan is the LED capitol of the world, and I believe it!

Miaoli Lantern Festival

We weren’t prepared for how large the main area was.  The planners certainly did a great job with this year’s festival!

Miaoli Lantern Festival

The centerpiece was a towering rabbit lantern, this being the year of the rabbit.

Miaoli Lantern Festival

We walked along the outside edge and saw some very impressive LED displays.

Miaoli Lantern Festival

The rabbit lantern had a few surprises coming up, namely changing colors from the inside.

Miaoli Lantern Festival

We took a walk through the fantasy lantern area.

Miaoli Lantern Festival

Miaoli Lantern Festival

It might be difficult to make out in this photo, but this lantern is a hive of bees.  Very creative.

Miaoli Lantern Festival

Suddenly, something started to happen in the center of the main area.  The rabbit lantern started turning around slowly and changing colors.  Notice the green lasers, which were in abundance this evening.

Miaoli Lantern Festival

Miaoli Lantern Festival

I’ll show you a few of the color combinations that appeared.  There are more shots in the Flickr photo album.

Miaoli Lantern Festival

Miaoli Lantern Festival

I thought it was cool that they depicted the rabbit wearing headphones.

Miaoli Lantern Festival

Hui-chen and I really liked this creative carriage.

Miaoli Lantern Festival

Later we saw this LED peacock.

Miaoli Lantern Festival

As we walked around, things got more and more creative and interesting.

Miaoli Lantern Festival

Miaoli Lantern Festival

Miaoli Lantern Festival

If you missed the lantern festival this year, perhaps you might want to make plans to visit it next year!

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15 comments

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  5. Looks bigger than the one in Taipei. We went to the one at Sun-Yat Sen Memorial Hall. It was only in the gardens of the hall. You are right, there were some creative lanterns there too. As for the noise, par for the course in Taiwan I think, although heavy metal music outside a religious display does seem odd.

    Looks like you enjoyed. Thats the main thing.
    Cheers
    Paul

    1. hi Paul. i’ve never been to one in Taipei, only Kaohsiung and Miaoli was very large by comparison. i really enjoy the creativity, especially the younger students. well we’re in Taiwan so noise is part of the equation! thanks and take care.

  6. I’ve said it before… and I’ll say it again… I love nighttime picures with bright, multi-colored lights in them. It doesn’t matter if they are LED, neon, fluorescent, incandescent, and so on.

    The first gate that you walked thru reminds me a lot of the Chinatown gate on Beach Street (I think its Beach Street) in Boston (which you have a picture of in your New England, Day 1 blog article).

    Even tho there would never be a lantern festival like that here… it would be nice if there was some sort of festival of lights to take some interesting and great looking pictures.
    mike01905´s last post ..2011 New England Boat Show

    1. hi Mike, yes it would be nice if the local Chinese community in the US did a lantern festival. that would give you plenty to photograph at night! hehe maybe you could organize it?

  7. MJ I had never heard of this festival until now so thanks. I have been watching videos of it and it is really beautiful and amazing the amount of work that goes into it.

    A huge area indeed. I read this about it and hope they broke the record.

    As part of Taiwan centennial celebrations, a total of 100 rabbit and 47,759 lanterns are to be seen at the 2011 Miaoli Lantern Festival to break the Guinness World Record.

    Thanks for great pictures as always mate.
    Brunty´s last post ..Thai Sport Day Shows- Part 2 Isaan Thailand

    1. hi Brunty. well i didn’t know that this one was record-breaking! hopefully someday you can visit us in Taiwan during this time and experience it yourself. thanks for the compliment but photos don’t do it justice! take care.

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