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Mayor Attends Opening Ceremony of Taipei Lantern Festival’s Dual Main Lanterns

Theme lantern Hiding Cat at the West district venue Taipei City Mayor Ko Wen-Je hosted the opening ceremony of TOGETHER WE GLOW – 2020 Taipei Lantern Festival on February 8. During his speech, he mentioned that the Taipei Lantern Festival has adopted dual main lanterns for the first time in 2020, featuring a main lantern in the east and west district respectively, symbolizing both districts lighting up together. He also presented 3 lantern riddles, giving away grand prizes such as air purifiers and foldable bicycles to the citizens with the correct answers.

The mayor stated that over the last 3 years, the Taipei Lantern Festival was first held in the old west district, placing emphasis on giving the traditional lantern festival a new twist. This not only transformed Ximending’s appearance but also generated an influx of tourists to the area, giving the Ximending shopping district a chance to come alive again. The city government’s successful transformation of the west district has enabled more domestic and international tourists to get reacquainted with the west district, which is in line with the original intent of the West District Gateway Project.

Mayor Ko commented that for this year’s lantern festival, the city government has asked various administrative districts in Taipei City to submit their proposals, hoping Taipei Lantern Festival will flourish everywhere. After careful assessment, it was decided to establish main lantern exhibit areas in the east and district respectively, meaning that the dual exhibit areas will each have an exclusive main lantern. The interesting main lantern with a children’s theme in the west district is entitled Hiding Cat, while the main lantern of the east district is Tian Hong Sin. This lantern, with its distinct Taiwanese demeanor, can be found in Nanxing Park near Nangang Station. Both exhibit venues are joined together by the MRT to light up the east and the west district.

According to Mayor Ko, over the past several years the city government has stressed that Taipei City’s major events should satisfy the criteria of internationalization, localization, and industrialization. During the 3 years of organizing the Taipei Lantern Festival in the west district, the aforementioned criteria have been achieved, hence hosting the lantern festival in Nangang (east district) this year ensures that Nangang will become another shining star of Taipei in the future. Currently, developments in Nangang include the Software Park, Taipei Nangang Exhibition Center (Hall 1 and 2), as well as the financial headquarters of major enterprises, the Taipei Music Center, Nangang Bottle Cap Factory, and National Biotechnology Research Park. Most importantly, Nangang is a transport hub consisting of MRT, TRA, THSR, the expressway, and the freeway. The East District Gateway Project has turned Nangang into a vital component of transportation. By hosting this year’s lantern festival, it is hoped that everyone will shift their focus from the old west district to the youthful, emerging east district to materialize the meaning of linking the east with the west.

Ko noted that it is unfortunate that the Taipei Lantern Festival coincides with the Wuhan coronavirus outbreak, but since the Taipei Lantern Festival is an outdoor event, the city government has decided to give the go-ahead in light of the organizer’s preparedness. However, citizens are reminded to wear masks and wash their hands frequently; meanwhile, the staff will prepare the necessary outbreak response resources in order to provide the best services so that everyone can attend the event with peace of mind. The Taipei Lantern Festival will be held for a period of 9 days (today through February 16), citizens are invited to come to the east and west district in Taipei by taking the MRT from Ximending Station to Nangang Station in order to admire lanterns and glow together. Last but not least, he wished everyone health, happiness, and good fortune.