Lantern Party in Taiwan

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  • TEMPO.CO, Taipei - I followed Zhou Junjie, a driver at the same time my guide, a lantern booth in Shifen lantern in Old Street.

    This old street is located in New Taipei City, city that is home to more than 3.9 million people.  Visitors generally consider Shifen Old Street as a day trip destination.

    The ancient streets can be reached in approximately one hour from Taipei, capital of Taiwan.

    "One color or four-color?" asked Jeff - your so it used to be called - to me at the booth lantern.

    I dropped the lantern to the selection of four colors.  It feels it has a multicolored lantern prettier than a single color only.

    The price of a lantern one color is 150 New Taiwan dollars (about USD 64,500), while the four-color lanterns is priced at NT $ 200 (approximately USD 86,000).

    If you want another lantern from other shapes, for example heart-shaped size, you have to spend  $ 600 (around US $ 258,000).

    Sky lantern is commonly used as a means to express the hope of travelers with family or friends.  Like me for example. I came here in February with my father and mother.

    Why do not all write requests that represent the dream of the whole family?

    Jeff, a 38-year-old man, helped me buy lanterns and he wanted me to fly it.  I was asked to choose one of eight combinations of lanterns.

    Each set consists of four colors but the alternatives are not just different complexion.  Options represent the expectations to be achieved.  There, there are symbols of sustenance, employment, popularity, also romance.

    I chose a mixture of hues of red, white, purple, and pink.

    Red represents health, purple means study, while pink symbolizes happiness.

    The trip is not complete if you do not pin hopes on the lantern, like a tradition here.  It's become a cultural habit Taiwan since the beginning of the 19th century.

    Initially local people release lanterns into the air to pray for next year.  At that time, many local residents went to the temple to pray.

    The prayers are followed by the release of lanterns.  The practice is preserved until Taiwan finally has a massive lantern festival, namely Pingxi Sky Lantern Festival in Pingxi District.

    RANDY MULYANTO

    (Previously the title was `Lampion Party`, corrected to be `Lantern Party` by Petir Garda Bhwana)



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