Flying Pleasant Goat: What’s This Lovely Festival That Looks So Playful?

Sky Lantern Festival started on the 4th day of Chinese Year Year (Feb. 22) at Pingxi, New Taipei city. (Image: udn.com)
Sky Lantern Festival started on the 4th day of Chinese Year Year (Feb. 22) at Pingxi, New Taipei city. (Image: udn.com)

Have you ever seen a traditional Chinese lantern? Well, it’s like a tiny hot air balloon that’s made of paper.

They were once used strategically in wars in ancient China. Nowadays, in Taiwan sky lanterns are released into the night sky with people’s wishes written on them.

Sky Lantern Festival 2015 started on the 4th day of Chinese Year Year (Feb. 22) at Pingxi, New Taipei City. A large cartoon lantern was displayed on the stage, and 60 cartoon lanterns and 480 traditional ones were offered for free.

Celebrating the Year of the Goat, the sky lanterns have special designs of Xi Yang Yang

who is the main character in the Chinese animated television series Pleasant Goat and Big Big Wolf.

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Children write their wishes on a specially designed cartoon lantern. (Image: udn.com)

People wrote down their wishes on their sky lanterns, like “earn more money,” “be healthy and safe,” and “get into a good university.”

A 9-year-old boy who has joined the activities for three consecutive years wrote: “I hope I can help a lot of people.” Another boy wrote: “I want to become taller.” A young man wrote: “Hopefully my rival in love will suddenly disappear.”

After writing down their wishes, visitors lit the sky lanterns one by one under the command of the staff.

Are you ready?

The cartoon lanterns lifted off into the air with all the wishes, making the sky look so beautiful. Slowly rising, plenty of small hot air balloons lit up the darkness of the night and removed the unhappiness in people’s minds.

Everyone watched intently without blinking, hoping their dreams come true. As the balloons flew away, a group of Japanese tourists said they were so touched and would never forget it.

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The sky lanterns lifted off into the air with everyone’s wishes. (Image: udn.com)

“Pingxi Sky Lantern Festival is not only a traditional celebration taking place annually, but also an important international festival. We welcome foreign friends to come and enjoy the beauty of Taiwan,” New Taipei City Deputy Mayor Chen Shen-hsien told udn.com.

Don’t worry if you missed the first celebration. The second event will be at Pingxi elementary school on Feb. 27 with 1,600 bigger sky lanterns that look like fire balloons.

The third event will be at Shifen Sky Lantern Square on the day of Lantern Festival which is March 5 this year. There will be 1,400 paper-cut lanterns which are very special and rare, according to Epoch Times.

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