Free Taiwan Lantern Festival lanterns up for grabs from Feb. 1

To mark the return of the Taiwan Lantern Festival to Taipei for the first time in over two decades, 80,000 Year of the Rabbit-themed lanterns are to be made available to the public from Feb. 1.

In a statement Monday, the Taipei City government's Department of Civil Affairs said that members of the public would be able to place preorders for 10,500 of the free lanterns via the festival's official website and TaipeiPASS app from 10 a.m. on Feb. 1.

The department added that 3,500 of preordered lanterns would be made available for collection with proof of identification from the southeastern observation deck on the first floor of Taipei City Hall each day between 3 p.m. and 6 p.m. from Feb. 4-6.

Alternatively, members of the public who didn't preorder lanterns but would like to acquire one can line up at two designated locations and in a specific location in each of Taipei's 12 districts each day from 3 p.m. during the same dates to pick up lanterns without preordering.

As each location will only receive a limited number of the remaining 69,500 lanterns, interested members of the public are only allowed to claim one lantern each time they line up, the department said.

Anyone who wishes to get more than one lantern will have to return to a queue and line up again, the department said.

In addition to the southeastern observation deck on the first floor of Taipei City Hall, lanterns can also be collected from the No. 10 service counter at Sun Yat Sen Memorial Hall, and 12 designated locations across the capital city.

They are the Songshan District Office, the Songlong Community Center in Xinyi District, the Daan District Office, the Minxiang Park in Zhongshan District, Zhongshan Hall in Zhongshan District, Yongle Market in Datong District, Bangka Park in Wanhua District, Maokong Gondola Zhinan Temple Station in Wenshan District, the Taipei Music Center in Nangang District, Dagangqian Park in Neihu District, the Taipei Performing Arts Center in Shilin District, and the Guandu Riverside Park in Beitou District.

The department said that the festival, which is returning to Taipei for the first time since 2001, would have a soft opening on Feb. 1, followed by the start of the official festival, which runs from Feb. 5-19.

According to the department, the commemorative lantern was inspired by the White Rabbit in Lewis Carroll's 1865 novel "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland," and uses a wide spectrum of soft neon colors painted on geometric shapes.

The 2023 rabbit light can held like a traditional lantern or reassembled into a rabbit ear ornament that could illuminate and be worn on people's heads.

The trendy headpiece gained widespread popularity recently with the beginning of the Year of the Rabbit.

Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel