[Asia Culture] Lantern Festival in Taiwan

Chinese New Year is already over, why are the streets still overwhelmed with red lanterns🏮? Because Lantern Festival is coming!!

2021 lantern festival in Taiwan

The lantern festival is known as Yuanxiao Festival. In ancient times this day means the last day of the New Year holiday (See how we celebrate Chinese New Year here👈🏻), so families gather together to have sweet rice balls and watch the first full moon of the Lunar New year. After that, people will gather on the streets with or without their own lanterns, watch the decorative lanterns on the street, and guess the riddles on them. If you have it right, you might win a prize!

When is the Lantern Festival 2024:

On the first 15th of the Lunar New Year. (Feb.24.2024)

What we do on Lantern festival:

  • Enjoy Sweet Rice balls
  • Enjoy decorative lanterns
  • Guess lantern riddles

2021 lantern festival in Taiwan

Why do we eat Sweet rice balls during the Lantern Festival?

Sweet Rice ball, which is called tāng yuán(湯圓) in Chinese, which sounds similar to another word Reunion (tuán yuán-團員), which symbolizes a family’s reunion.
( In our culture, on different festivals we eat specific foods just because they sound like some other words)

Do you want to celebrate it as we do? No problem, you can find them easily in 711/ Family Mart, or in any supermarket!

These 2 are the most common ones we eat, Sesame or Peanut flavor.
(🤫My fav is the sesame one.)

How to cook Sweet Rice Ball:

Put them in boiled water, when they start to float~its time for you to put them in your bowl! Be careful not to overcook them or you’ll get flavored boiled water with some rice skin floating above😅

lantern festival in TaiwanThe red lanterns in Taipei, Xinyi district.

Lantern Festival story

Before decorative lanterns emerge, the original lanterns were all red. There are so many stories about how the lantern festival started, here is one of them.

Legend has it that once there was a hunter who accidentally killed the god’s bird. The god was furious and he said to put the world on fire on the 15th of January. The god had a kind daughter, she went to the human’s world and told them about this secret. An old man came up with an idea, he told people to put red lanterns everywhere to make the human’s world seem all red as if it is on fire, and light up firecrackers and fireworks to make it even more real. This really fooled the god and people started celebrating this annually.


Before Enjoying our decorative lanterns,
You might need:

Unlimited Data sim card (Taiwan airport pickup)
(3,5, 7, 10, 15, 30 days)

Unlimited Data sim card (Taiwan airport pickup)
(3, 5, 8, 10, 15 days)

Unlimited data Portable Wifi (Taiwan Airport pickup)
(Suitable for group travelers)

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2021 Lantern Festival Taiwan is canceled for now, due to the recent outbreaks of covid in the country.

Taiwan’s 2021 Lantern Festival was expected to take place in Hsinchu county(google map)

2021 lantern festival taiwan



(If you are curious how it should be, scroll down to the bottom to see how 2018’s main lantern festival goes)

Lantern Exhibitions around Taiwan

Every year Taiwan’s main lantern festival will be held in different cities, but of course, every city has its own lantern event also.

Taipei Lantern Festival

taipei lantern festivalcredit

You might need to know:

How to get from Taoyuan airport to Taipei

You might be interested:

Taipei free walking tour
Visit national palace museum
Get your Pineapple cake without queuing

New Taipei Pingxi Lantern Festival

taiwan lantern festival pingxicredit

Since 1990, the lantern festival has been Taiwan’s most important festival and was named “the second biggest New Year’s Eve celebration in the world” by Discovery Channel.
It was part of CNN’s list of “52 Things To Do”
Even without the lantern festival, Pingxi is always a good choice for us to escape from the city and enjoy the country vibe, and one of the popular things we do there is to light up our own sky lantern with our wishes on it.

If you missed this once a year experience during the lantern festival, no worries. You can still book:
👉🏻Pingxi Shifen Sky Lantern Experience
Half-Day Guided Tour )

Taoyuan Lantern festival 

taoyuan lantern festival Website(Chinese): Link

You might be interested:

Travel the Unknown in Taoyuan
(Designed for those who are adventurous and is 
tired of the basic tourist route-starting from Taipei)

Changhua County

Theme: Flower exhibition in the day and lanterns at night.

changhua lantern festival creditchanghua lantern festival

Website (Chinese): Link

Book your High speed rail Ticket👉🏻 here


 lantern festival culture in taiwan

Lantern festival in the oldest city in Taiwan, how does that sound? This is not during the lantern festival btw🤫 Highly recommended.

Activities you might be interested:

Kaohsiung Love river

Taiwan lantern festival culture 2020 Taiwan lantern festival culture 2020credit

Website(Chinese): Link

Kaohsiung  Qishan Old street

taiwan lantern festival credit

You might be interested:

Kaohsiung Free walking tour

Kaohsiung Classic Attractions Day Tour

Kaohsiung Aboriginal Village Culture

Fo guang shan- One of the most famous Buddhist temple in Taiwan

If you are planning to visit Taiwan thoroughly, let me suggest you this 3 day unlimited pass for High-Speed rail.

👉🏻Check it out👈🏻

Within 2 hours you can get from Taipei to Kaohsiung.  What people love about Taiwan is that we are small but very compact, especially with our High-speed rail, you won't waste a minute to explore this interesting country.

Lantern Riddles

The riddles will be written by owners, they may be written on lanterns or on paper attached to lanterns, so people can have some extra entertainment while examining the lanterns.

In case you want to have a try, here is a riddle for you:

I can follow you for thousands of miles and not miss home. I do not fear cold or fire, and I desire neither food nor drink. But I disappear when the sun sets behind the western mountains. Who am I?

Ans: Shadow

How main Lantern festival exhibition looks like

Recall for 2018 the Main Lantern festival in Chiayi-Taiwan

creditcreditcredit credit


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    7 3 月, 2018 at 9:38 上午

    Your reflection??? Great lantern photos!

    1. Jean Lin

      8 3 月, 2018 at 2:14 下午

      thank you 😉

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