Taiwan on Saturday celebrated the Chinese New Year by lighting up the sky in Taichung city with lanterns. Tens and thousands of people released sky lanterns to celebrate the final day of Lunar New Year, also known as Yuan Xiao. Even though Taiwan is not part of mainland China, many of the Taiwanese people are from the Han ethnic group and speak Mandarin. Taiwan celebrates the festival quite extravagantly and according to legislation passed by the Taiwanese government the New year is a public holiday in the Republic of China, commonly known as Taiwan.
On Saturday, following a festive show full of light, music, and colour, Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-Wen lit and released the main lantern which is called Guardian of the Forest - Tree of Light. The lantern festival was launched by the president in Taiwan's industrial city of Taichung. As per media reports, the festival had been staged in the city for the second time in five years and is also the biggest ever spanning across 40 hectares.
yesterday (taiwan time) was 元宵節 the lantern festival, the last day of 春節 lunar new year. when we're talking lanterns, one place comes to mind - 十分 shifen! pic.twitter.com/c9e4nkPWeR— 台灣粉絲🇹🇼 (@pingxinrou) February 8, 2020
The festival saw a wide range of themes, including religion, railways, military, new immigrants, zodiac animals, and Jurassic Park and fireworks lit up the sky at the end of it. The Guardian of the Forest - Tree of Light was beautifully lit and was decorated with 22 light belts, each representing a city or country in Taiwan. Butterflies and Taiwan Sibias, a species of bird mainly found in the country, were placed at the treetop. As per reports, Lunar New Year in China is celebrated by dragon dance in the northern part of the country and lion dance in the south, while in Taiwan dragon of the north and lion of Canton are both used by the local residents as many people came from different parts of mainland during the early migration period in country.
2020 Taiwan Lunar New Year ends fireworks. pic.twitter.com/KfsSNCgRm4— John (@calm825) February 9, 2020
China also celebrated the New Year but celebrations across the country were minimal as the people there are still battling with the deadly outbreak of coronavirus. More than 900 people have lost their lives so far in the country and over 40,000 cases have been confirmed. The contagious virus is believed to be even more dangerous than the outbreak of SARS that had killed over 800 people in 2003.