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Taipei, New Taipei, Keelung Mayors Mark 2016 Sky Lantern Festival

The mayors of Taipei, New Taipei, and Keelung jointly wrote down their prayers for a year of safety and smoothness on a 16-feet high lantern before releasing it into the air in the annual Pingxi Sky Lantern Festival on February 22.
Mayor Ko Wen-je noted that he wished 2016 a year of harmony and hard work. Everyone will strive to reach an agreement among clashes and conflicts so as to propel society forward.
Despite calls from environmental groups urging local governments to stop the practice of launching sky lanterns on the grounds of ecological concerns, Ko reckoned that he believes it is possible to strike a balance between the preservation of cultural heritage and environmental protection, citing New Taipei Mayor Eric Chu’s remarks that the government will ensure the released lanterns are recycled.
As the host of Pingxi Sky Lantern Festival, Chu pointed out the event, now in its 18th year, has been highlighted by Discovery Channel and National Geographic Channel as one of the most fantastic fests in the world. He hopes New Taipei, Taipei, and Keelung can work hand-in-hand to promote tourism for the Greater Taipei area.
Attending the event for the first time on behalf of his city, Keelung Mayor Lin You-chang wished Taiwan a year of progress, unity, and happiness. He took the opportunity to invite the public to participate in the event marking the 130th founding anniversary of the Port of Keelung slated for June 25.