Tue, February 10, 2009
China > HK/Taiwan > 2009 Lantern Festival

Sky lanterns in Taiwan carry wishes for cross-Straits relations

2009-02-09 15:19:05 GMT2009-02-09 23:19:05 (Beijing Time)  Xinhua English

TAIPEI, Feb. 9 (Xinhua) -- Taiwan celebrated the traditional Chinese Lantern Festival, which ends the lunar New Year holiday, Monday evening with local people flying "sky lanterns" and wishing peace and prosperity for cross-Straits relations.

More than 3,000 lanterns bearing written wishes flew aloft in Pingxi, Taipei County -- a traditional local way to mark the festival.

The ascension of the 8-meter main lantern, which carried the words "Sky Lanterns lighten both sides of the Straits," drew cheers from the crowds.

Lantern-makers and performers from Sichuan, a mainland province that was hit by a massive earthquake on May 12, were invited to the celebrations.

Wu Jiakui, one of the Sichuan lantern-makers, said he felt quite at home as the customs were basically the same on both sides of the Straits.

"What impressed me most is how well the traditional culture of the Chinese nation has been preserved here in Taiwan, in sky lantern making especially."

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