Chinese light festival raises environmental concerns

Published on : Saturday, February 11, 2017

Chinese light festivalLike every February, thousands of people will gather in Pingxi in New Taipei to fly sky lanterns into the night sky. This year, however, could mark the beginning of the end for the activity, as concerns rise over the environmental effect of the Lunar New Year tradition. It’s a centuries old practice and a Chinese folk tradition, with people writing wishes for the coming New Year and releasing the lanterns to heaven.

 

In Taiwan and elsewhere, the practice gradually developed into a major tourism attraction, with Pingxi — the only place in Taiwan where the release of sky lanterns is permitted — hosting its annual event since 1999.

 
This festival is a big attraction for local and international visitors with the sight of hundreds of lighted lanterns slowly rising into the night sky. The event was named by the Discovery Channel as the second biggest New Year’s Eve celebration in the world. The world’s largest publisher of travel guides, Fodor’s Travel, named it as one of its “15 Festivals to Attend Before You Die,” while CNN Travel ranked it No. 8 on its “52 things to do in 2013″ list.

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