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The design of the Main Theme Lantern of the 2013 Taiwan Lantern Festival is based on the theme of "Soaring Dragon Brings Prosperity." It embodies the spirit of bravery, resolution, perseverance, and indomitability and fuses folk culture, modern art, and high technology elements to present the brilliance of Hsinchu.

The lantern has the shape of a serpent-like water dragon symbolic of the spirit of soaring higher into a prosperous new year. It is made with modern high-tech construction methods and presents a sculptural aesthetic informed by traditional culture.


The design theme of the 2012 Main Theme Lantern is "Soaring Dragon in Radiant Skies." This theme is embodied through the imagery of "a dragon soaring across the world, the glory of creation, abounding auspicious clouds, and embracing virtue." The design is also rooted in traditional culture and folk customs, combining art, technology, and fashion to symbolize the nation, soaring high into its centennial year during the Lantern Festival.

The Main Theme Lantern for the Year of the Dragon in 2012 was made with new construction methods and an overall lighting and sound effect design using high-tech digital controllers. It also incorporates holographic pixel grating lighting technology developed by the Industrial Technology Research Institute. The lantern is illuminated with high efficiency and energy-saving LED lighting in keeping with global environmental protection trends. In the daylight, the lantern is an impressive and powerful work of landscape art. At night, it transforms into a beautiful giant lantern: the dragon coming alive in a dazzling display of shadow and light.


The main theme lantern for the 2011 festival was sponsored by Chunghwa Telecom and christened the "Auspicious Jade Rabbit" by Shih Hsin University professor Tseng Ying-yi. The design captured a spirit of energy, joy, charm, abundance, and style, integrating folk traditions, culture, art, and technology to dazzling effect for the year's ROC centenary Lantern Festival. The theme lantern was designed, created, and presented by Acropro Inc. Based on the shape of a Formosan hare, the lantern embodied aesthetic, creative, and cultural elements to convey the theme of "Jade Rabbit Blessings of Fortune and Prosperity in the New Year."

The Jade Rabbit lantern measured 20.5-meters high and weighed 30 metric tons. The rabbit was wearing wireless headphones and was clothed in a vest. It held a golden ingot presented as an offering symbolic of wealth and well being. The ingot was inscribed with a logo reading "Glorious Century for the Republic of China," to celebrate the nation's centennial birthday with a spirit of national unity. The lantern also brought together modern technology, traditional culture, and artistic lighting techniques to innovative effect. The lighting display used hologram technology developed by the Industrial Technology Research Institute, eco-friendly LED lighting sources, and digitally controlled effects.


Combining traditional, high-tech, and local cultural elements, the main theme lantern depicted a tiger leaping over a rainbow bridge as a symbol of coming good fortune. The abstract design also depicted the mountains of Chiayi (the year's festival host) and the sunrise and cloud formations of Alishan. The installation was paired with two cute tiger cub lanterns, adding a feeling of family happiness to the propitious theme.

The lighting display used 3D photography techniques developed by the Electronics and Optoelectronics Research Laboratories at Taiwan's Industrial Technology Research Institute, as well as internal and external lighting displays coordinated with music. Mirrors and partial reflectors further added to the high-tech effect of the display.


The main theme lantern design was based on the Chinese zodiacal animal for the year, which in 2009 was the ox (or cow), and the type of ox chosen for the lantern was the Taiwan water buffalo. The lantern symbolized the spirit of diligence, economic prosperity, the turning wheel of fortune, and the ushering in of a new era.


「Good Fortune in the Year of the Rat」. Design Concept: In celebration of the Year of the Rat, the 2008 Taiwan Lantern Festival adopted the coxinga (spinous country-rat), a rodent native to Taiwan, for the main theme lantern. The lantern depicted the coxinga standing on his hind legs with paws clasped in respect, alluding to a verse by the Tang poet Han Yu. The rat stood on a grassy knoll praying to the heavens for peace and good fortune, and offering a gold ingot symbolizing wealth and luck. The tail of the rat swayed as the lantern revolved, and a colorful light display added further to the festive quality of the display.

The Theme Lantern was 18 meters high (including its three-meter octagonal base), and weighed about 25 tons.

The 2014 is the year of Horse. This year’s theme lantern installation is a 23-meter tall 30-ton “Prancing Horse” (Chinese name given by famous literature scholar Professor Tseng Yong-Yi from Shih Hsin University). The golden stallion, inspired by the famous historic stallion- Yanqi Horse, is prancing full of energy and galloping toward Yushan- the highest peak in Taiwan.

This installation is designed along three main axels- “all optical”, “high-tech”, and “green technology”. To present an unprecedented feast of visual sensations, this year’s theme lantern breaks several records. The whole installation is lit by 5,120 circuits and over 200,000 LED units. This 23-meter-tall stallion galloping towards Yushan will stand center stage to light up the event throughout the festival period.

The theme lantern installation forms a central plaza surrounded by the lit-up podium, traditional lantern area, theme light show, and prayer lantern area. This year’s lit-up podium is inspired by the imageries of Nantou’s international tourist spot, Sun Moon Lake, and the flora and fauna of Nantou’s exquisite natural wonders, including the adorable butterflies, frogs, Sambar deer, black bears, and owls. Images of famous landmarks and cultures in Nantou, including Laru Island, Cien Tower, Tsou tribal canoes and fishing nets, and the Sun Moon Lake cable car, are presented through the Chinese New Year style paper-cutting, quilting, and printing arts. They are integrated with aboriginal totems and colors to create another visual focal point in the event.

Rising Yushan soaring into the sky, revered by a sea of auspicious clouds. Leader of the Nation takes the reins in the fearless charge, followed by millions into a bright future. Venturers march into the world, showcasing the achievements of the Nation, and returning home to marvel at the fairyland of Formosa.

The Lantern Festival is held annually on the 15th day of the first lunar month. It marks the grand finale of the LunarNew Year season and is celebrated with fanfare by familiesacross the country. Firecrackers, fireworks, hand lanternsand torches all traditionally liven up the festivities as people welcome the New Year in a spirit of peace,prosperity and joy.

In earlier times, the main temples of Taipei—Guangdu Temple in Beitou, Ciyou Temple in Songshan and Qingshan Temple and Longshan Temple in Wanhua—all hosted decorative lantern displays during the Lantern Festival. To spare people the trouble of shuttling between the various temples, in 1989, the Minister of Transportation and Communications Clement C.P. Chang instructed Tourism Bureau Director General Mao Chi-kuo to consolidate the separate temple lantern displays into a single annual event.

Before this time, the Lantern Festival had been quickly fading from the consciousness in Taiwan's busy and commercial society. To reverse this trend, and bring back the festive air of the occasion, the Tourism Bureau planned the first large-scale festival on the 15th day of the first Lunar month, aiming to create a unique world-class event on par with the Munich Oktoberfest in Germany, Hokkaido Snow Festival, and Brazil's Carnival, to attract international visitors. Since that time, the Lantern Festival held annually by the Tourism Bureau has become a highlight event in Taiwan during the Lunar New Year holiday.

The Tourism Bureau held the first Lantern Festival in 1990. This year, the event enters its 25th year. Each year, the festival features a Main Theme Lantern based on the Chinese zodiac animal for the new years. This is complemented by secondary lanterns and areas highlighting different decorative lantern themes, such as the Blessing Lantern Area and Joyous Lantern Area. The event opens with performances by well-known local and international performance groups. Get ready to be dazzled at the 2014 Lantern Festival in Zhongxing New Village, Nantou County

Lantern Festival Venue Layout




2014 is the Year of the Horse. This year’s Taiwan Lantern Festival will be held in beautiful Nantou County. To echo the themes of the horse and holiday spirit, the festival’s hand lanterns are designed as a Cutie Horse that brings good luck as if trats along briskly. This year’s Lantern Festival falls on Valentine’s Day (February 14th). Therefore, for “The year of eternal love”, the designer added the elements of “love” to the design of this Cutie Horse.

The Cutie Horse is not just a paper lantern; it gallops when you swing it back and forth, and the “horse power” can be controlled by the force of swinging. So, you can make it walk fast or gallop. And that is not all. The legs of the horse can be adjusted and fixed with a band into a base like a rocking horse, so when you are tired of swinging the horse, you can put it down on the ground and walk it like a pet. Every detail of the design is conceptualized with the element of human interaction in mind, and its extra mechanisms make this little lantern much more fun for grown-ups and kids alike.

Waterproof, reinforced and deform-proof PP board (30 strips) for high endurance-this combination of materials gives the assembly optimum form stability and best light transmitting rate.
Tri-color LED lights are used to achieve a colorful effect, and the light weight of the LED bulbs makes the lantern environment-friendly. The batteries last up to 50 hours.
26cm×8cm× 22cm (not including handle)

The Tourism Bureau will give away the hand lanterns for free during the period of the Lantern Festival. The giveaway will start at 3:00pm daily for 11 days from February 13th to 23rd.

The hand lanterns are given away on-site only, on a first came first served basis; limited to one lantern per person, available while stock lasts.

Hand lanterns are available at four service points on the site of the Lantern Festival (Zhongxing New Village, Nantou County):
By the ATM of the Water and Soil Conservation Bureau Building
At the gate of Guanghua Elementary School (beside Guanghua 4th Road)
Across the street from Changchun Park (on 1st Street, Guangrong E. Road)
Classroom of Guangfu Elementary School

Dazzling Birds of Nantou

The theme of this area is the peacocks of the Sun Moon Lake Peacock Garden and the endemic birds of Taiwan. These include the exquisite Taiwan Blue Magpie and Taiwan Blue Pheasant. The lantern bird garden is built against a backdrop of bamboo woods, a special product of Nantou’s Zhushan Township. It symbolizes the virtues of perseverance, integrity, and noble morality.

Wishes for Fortune, Success, and Peace

Nantou’s Guoxing and Xinyi Township are known as the home of Samar deer and plum blossom. This lantern is themed on the images of these two special images of Nantou. In both Mandarin and the Taiwanese language, deer (鹿pronounced lu) is a homophone of success (祿), symbolizing fortune and peaceful life. Moreover, plum blossoms, blooming in bitter coldness, bring good omen of prosperity and dresses the trees with dazzling colors of festivity.

Cool Bear

The star of the event is voted the mascot of Nantou County and the spokesperson of Taiwan- the Formosan Black Bear. The Cool Bear is dressed in the most advanced high-tech gears and animated mask to present the modern development of Taiwan.