The lantern, also known as the Chinese paper lantern, is the traditional portable lighting of ancient Asian culture. Lanterns are usually made from oiled rice paper on a bamboo frame. When the lights are warming up by a candle normally, Asian people believe that releasing a sky lantern is symbolic of problems and worries floating away also carrying their wishes written. If you want to immerse yourself in the fanciful and sparkling atmosphere, let’s discover the 3 most popular sky Asian lantern festival below!
(1) Pingxi sky lantern festival in Taiwan
NOTE: The Pingxi Lantern Festival in Taiwan is cancelled in 2021
1. What is Pingxi Sky Lantern Festival in Taiwan?
The first Asian lantern festival that should be mentioned is Pingxi Sky Lantern Festival Taiwan that takes place on a single day of the year. During this festival, people will write their wishes and decorate the lantern then release them to the sky expecting they can come to the elves.
The origins of this custom come from a legend 2,000 years ago. During the war, soldiers burned the lights to the sky to signal the citizens who were hiding in the mountains. The lights help people know that their land is safe and they can return home. Therefore, the sky lanterns represent peace.
2. When and Where is Pingxi Sky Lantern Festival in Taiwan?
Address: Pingxi – Shifen (Taiwan)
Date: The last day of Lunar New Year (15th January followed by Lunar Calendar)
3. Things you wish to know:
*During dropping the lantern*
You can buy a lantern for NT$150 – NT$200 and write your wishes there. After you finish writing, go down the railway and drop the lanterns to the sky, bring your wish to fly away.
One thing to keep in mind when dropping lights is that the train is still in working hours so highly pay attention to the signal lights to avoid danger.
On that day, people everywhere will flock to the venue of the festival. The number of people attending every year is estimated to be 8,000. Therefore, to avoid crowded, traffic congestion, travel hard, you should go very early. Renting a car group for convenience is a good option.
(2) Korean Lantern Festival (Daegu Dalgubeol Lantern Festival)
1. What is Daegu Lantern Festival:
Another famous Asian lantern festival in Asia is in South Korea. The festival is an occasion to commemorate the birth of the Buddha which began a long time ago. Gradually, the festival has become a traditional festival held every year and more widespread and popular throughout Korea.
Each province or city in Korea has its own lantern festival. But the Dalgubeol Lantern Festival held in Daegu every year is the largest and most celebrated festival of its kind in South Korea.
2. When and Where is Daegu Lantern Festival?
Location: Duryu Baseball Stadium (inside Duryu Park)
Address: 7, Gongwonsunhwan-ro, Dalseo-gu, Daegu, Korea
Date: To be updated
Time: From 11:00 am to 21:00 pm.
3. Things you wish to know:
*Ticket is required*
In order to be able to drop lanterns at the Dalgubeol festival, you will need to buy a ticket. Tickets are available at the festival’s official website. But you must hurry up because tickets will be sold very quickly.
If you can not get tickets in time, you have another way to participate in the festival. There are 6000 tickets available free of charge to early arrivals. There is no way else if you do not get free tickets.
*Food and beverage*
The festival will be held in the afternoon so keep in mind that you may have to wait for hours and hours. Fast food is available to sell inside the park but it is better to prepare food and drinks as Koreans do.
*Other activities besides releasing lanterns*
Dalgubeol Festival usually takes place in four days with lots of interesting activities. You will experience the rituals like dropping the sky lantern or floating lantern on the river or an amazing firework show. And perhaps most desirable is the Dalguboel lantern parade.
*No personal lantern is allowed*
Please note that your personal lantern is prohibited for safety concerns.
(3) Thailand Lantern Festival (Yi Peng Lantern Festival)
1. What is Yi Peng Lantern Festival?
Chiang Mai Sky Lantern Festival – Yi Peng is not only the most popular Asian lantern festival but also considered the world’s largest festival. The Thai people will release the lantern to the sky with the belief that the unfortunate and the unlucky will fly in the air and disappear. Buddhists also believe that the wishes that they wish during the lanterns will certainly come true.
2. When and Where is Yi Peng Lantern Festival?
When: Full moon day of November – November 19 to November 21, 2021
Where: Phra Sing, Chiang Mai, Thailand
3. Things you wish to know:
*Loy Krathong vs. Yi Peng Lantern Festival*
In fact, there are two lantern festivals in Thailand: Loy Krathong and Yi Peng. Many visitors often confuse the two activities because of the same time. Here is a quick explanation: Loy Krathong is a festival of floating lanterns, held throughout Thailand. Yi Peng is a sky lantern festival, usually held in some northern provinces, of which Chiang Mai is the main venue.
There are two venues for the sky lantern festival and at different prices of the ticket.
– Mae Jo: Ticket is required and it will be sold out very fast. Visitors should book 3-6 months in advance for a reasonable price.
– Nawarat Bridge: No ticket required but visitors need to pay for the lantern.
*For observation only*
In case you do not want to be crowded during the festival but still want to see the glamorous of a thousand lanterns, you can choose Mae Sa. This is a valley about 20 km from Chiang Mai Centre. In addition to the lanterns, you also get a chance to watch many kinds of unique fireworks local people.
For a detailed guide of the Yi Peng Lantern Festival in Chiangmai (Thailand), here is your destination: [Link]
For the difference between two famous lantern festival in Thailand, you can read more here: 4 things you should know about Loy Krathong and Yi Peng
If you already watched the Disney movie named Tangled once then surely you will not forget the scene of thousands of lanterns “blooms” in the night sky. It is not difficult to experience it in real life by yourself, simply just grab your luggage and visit those 3 most famous sky lantern festivals in Asia!