The loud festivities of Lunar New Year may overlook this spectacularly visual festival but the longstanding tradition of releasing floating lanterns into the sky is still gaining traction among locals from around the country and other travellers.
While the sale and release of sky lanterns are available in Pingxi throughout the year, nothing beats coming down during this particular festival to watch the mass release of sky lanterns. The tradition is generations-old and stems from villagers releasing the lanterns to warn women and children to run up the hills when the village was under attack by bandits and marauders. The lanterns are no longer used as a warning but it is a popular custom to write down a wish on the paper lanterns before sending it up to the heavens for the divine to grant them.
MAKE IT HAPPEN
The Pingxi Sky Lantern Festival is set to start on 4 February and continue on over the next few weekends. Lanterns are released en masse every 20 minutes and there are also events at various venues, including Pingxi junior High, Qingtong Junior High, and Shifen Sq.
Mt It would be more convenient to stay in Taipei and make the hour-drive east to Pingxi during the day.The new Hotel PaPa Whale serves as a great base from which to explore Taipei.The boutique hotel exudes a warm, intimate charm with its minimalist style and modern facilities and amenities. The hotel is also easy to spot too with the two murals of a blue whale painted on the sides of the stark-white building (from US $55 per night; papawhale.com).