Introduction to the Secondary Lantern Area:
The Heaven Holy Mother, Mazu:
Mazu, China¡¦s famous female god of the sea, is commonly called Lin Mon, and also known as Lin Monniang. Mazu is the guardian god of the sea, and one of the most
important folk gods in Taiwanese culture. Legend has it that Mazu was well learned from an early age. She liked to worship the Buddhist Gods, and had a gift for understanding Buddhist beliefs; which is why people have erected temples to worship her since the Song, Yuan, Ming, and Qing dynasties. She has been honored and praised as the ¡§Heaven Holy Concubine,¡¨ the ¡§Heaven Holy Queen,¡¨ and the ¡§Heaven Holy Mother.¡¨ This secondary lantern is located in the square in front of the Lukang Tian Hou Temple, and is named the ¡§Heaven Holy Mother.¡¨
The image of the deer represents getting a good job, being promoted, rich salaries, as well as good fortune, prosperity, and longevity. The 2012 Taiwan Lantern Festival is held in the historical and cultural city of [Lukang (¡§Deer Port¡¨ in Chinese)], and therefore, to echo the auspicious meanings that the deer represents as well as the name of the location where the festival is being held year, we have designed a lantern of a spotted deer with its head held high and gazing into the horizon, calling this lantern [Brilliant Deer (or ¡§Zhan Low Tow Jiao¡¨ in Chinese, which is a homonym for ¡§showing your talent and making something of yourself¡¨)], in hopes that the people of Taiwan will all be able to [Zhan Low Tow Jiao] in this new year and obtain an abundant amount of riches and good fortune.
Leaping the Dragon Gate:
This secondary lantern is located in the Southern Lantern Area. According to legend, a carp leaped out of the dragon gate and transformed into a dragon, and hence
the name ¡§Leaping the Dragon Gate.¡¨ This carp (dragon) later flew into the heavens and brought much needed rain to the people of the world. ¡§Leaping the Dragon Gate¡¨symbolizes that the people of Taiwan will all improve and advance in the coming year, and that the country will experience good and balanced weather, as well as enjoy a prosperous year for the nation.
Bisi Bearing Fortune:
This secondary lantern is located at the side of the main lantern, and is a symbol of ¡§there being a champion in every profession.¡¨ Bisi likes to arry heavy objects,and was for a long time responsible for carrying the stone monuments of the world on his back, working exceptionally hard without ever complaining. This is used as a metaphor for people of modern times being able to endure hardships, take on difficult responsibilities, shoulder the weight of the world, do good for their society, and bring hope and good fortune to their people.
Introduction to the Various Lantern Areas:
Thousand-mile Dragon Gallery Zone Lantern Area:
On Lukang¡¦s Zhongshan Road, from Lukang Tian Hou Temple to the Temple of Knowledge and Physical Strength, nine dragons or different styles and designed have been placed according to the different cultural characteristics of each of the areas. The exhibit with these nine dragons is called the ¡§Never-Ending Corridor of Dragons.¡¨ Each of the nine dragons has its own style and design, from awe-inspiring, to lavish, and even cute and cuddly. The names and symbolizations of each of the dragons are as follows: the Golden Dragon of All Your Wishes Coming True represents
that all of your wishes will come true; The Artistic Dragon of Heritage represents a successful career; the Tortoise Dragon of Riches represents fortune and riches; the Dragon Boat of the Dragon Boat Festival represents good health; the Dragon full of Blessings represents a blessed life; the Hidden Dragon¡¦s Parade represents happiness; the Flying Dragon of Exotic Dance represents love; the Auspicious Dragon of the Eight Trigrams represents peace and safety; the Dragon of Knowledge and Physical Strength represents wisdom. During the Lantern Festival, these nine dragons will hover in mid- air on Zhongshan Road, and the surrounding area will be designed as a pedestrian walking zone, allowing visitors to pass beneath the nine dragons to enjoy the beautiful dragon lanterns and received all the blessings that the dragons represent. This exhibit also represents the hopes and expectations of the people in praying of a new year of peace and well-being, with happiness and peace of mind filling our hearts and souls ¡V which is why this lantern area is also called the ¡§Sky Full of Prayers and Blessings¡¨ Lantern Area.
The Fantasy Planet Lantern Area:
located in the Northern Lantern Area, this
lantern area is an innovative lantern area of the 2012 Taiwan Lantern Festival. Inside this lantern area are large Gundam model robots as well as medium and small-scale model robots. In addition, there are also figures from the Tranformers, the Intergalactic Circus, as well as other alien toy figures that create a theme and atmosphere of intergalactic space and time, which is very popular among children.
The Lantern Competition Area:
The competition entries are categorized into the family category, the junior high school category, the high school and vocational school category, the flowers and fruits category, the university and general society category, and the organizations and groups category, allowing lanterns made by schools, families, and organizations and groups to also participate in the Lantern Festival. Of the lanterns in this area, the innovative design of the lifelike ¡§Ten Perfect Canines (or ¡¥Shi Chuan Shi Mei,¡¦ which is a homonym of ¡¥being perfect in every way¡¦ in Chinese)¡¨ was the most popular among visitors; this lantern, from the organizations and groups category, was made by the rehabilitated inmates of the Hsinchu Prison using 3 million toothpicks.
The Heavenly Holy Queen Lantern Area: The Square in front of Lukang Tian Hou Temple
The Heavenly Holy Queen Lantern Area is located in the square in front of the Lukang Tian Hou Temple, and uses the image of ¡§Mazu¡¨ as the design for the lantern, which is named the Heavenly Holy Mother, Mazu.¡¨ In the faith of the Taiwanese people, Mazu is the guardian god of the sea. Therefore, themes from the sea are designed around the Heavenly Holy Queen Lantern Area, including waves, shrimp troops, and crap generals, etc., creating an atmosphere of solemnness around this secondary lantern of
The Children¡¦s Lanterns Area ¡X Lukang Union Hall
The themes for this lantern area are the traditional children¡¦s toys of Lukang. Large-scale children¡¦s toys lanterns will be placed in this lantern area, including tops, bamboo dragonflies, Luban locks, and jigsaw puzzles. Natural materials such as vines and bamboo are used to create an ancient-like atmosphere, which is further used as an elemental factor in the design of the area.
The Traditional Opera Lantern Area ¡X The Lukang Folk Arts Museum
The Traditional Opera Lantern Area is located in the square in front of the Lukang Folk Arts Museum. Its main theme is ¡§Put Up the Lanterns and Tie the Colored Ribbons, Excellent Displays Are About to Come One After Another.¡¨ The landmark of this area is a secondary festival lantern designed as the image of one of the four most beautiful women in China¡¦s history, Wang Zhao-Jun, leaving China to be married into the Hun Tribe, which is a true Chinese historical event that has been used as material for
traditional Chinese opera. Around the lantern of Wan Zhao-Jun are many uniquely styled lanterns from traditional Lukang Northern and Southern-Style Chinese Operas, exhibiting the unique art and cultural characteristics of Lukang¡¦s traditional Northern and Southern-Style Chinese Opera.
Riddle Lanterns Area¡XLong Shan Temple
The Riddle Lanterns Area is located in the national historic site - Long Shan Temple. The guessing of lantern riddles during the annual Lantern Festival Holiday is a folk tradition in Lukang. The Riddle Lanterns Area is located in from of the Long Shan Temple, allowing visitors to come here to admire the beauty of the Long Shan Temple historic site¡¦s architecture, experience the Lantern Maze built out of lanterns in front of the plaza, and participate in the riddle guessing game in which visitors try to guess the answers to the different riddles written on each of the lanterns in the maze. These activities give visitors a chance to fully experience the traditional fun and games that were played by people during the Lantern Festival Holidays in ancient times.
Introduction to the Main Lantern area:
The 2012 Taiwan Lantern Festival was spread out over the entire Lukang Township, with three major lantern areas ¡V the ¡§Northern Lantern Area,¡¨ the ¡§Jhongshan Road Charming Lantern Area,¡¨ and the ¡§Southern Lantern Area.¡¨
The Northern Lantern Area:
The ¡§Northern Lantern Area¡¨ is mainly located around the Lukang Stadium region. The main lantern of the 2012Taiwan Lantern Festival, named ¡§Soaring
Dragon in Radiant Skies¡¨ was also located in the stadium in the Northern Lantern Area. The main lantern was 20 meters high and weighed about 40 tons. Clouds of good fortune circled the main lantern area, which presented a portrait of auspicious energies (Chi) soaring through the enormous ocean of clouds, which accurately portrayed the concept of ¡§Soaring Dragon in Radiant Skies¡¨ The design included thousands of glowing sails circling the main lantern in the stadium, whereas right across from the main lantern stood the Light Opening Ship,
which is a giant ancient ship more than one hundred meters long and a portrayal of the prosperity and busyness of Lukang during the Qing Dynasty.
Road Charming Lantern Area:
This area has nine dragon lanterns, each with its own style and design: the Golden Dragon of All Your Wishes Coming True, the Artistic Dragon of Heritage, Tortoise Dragon of Riches, The Dragon Boat of the Dragon Boat Festival, the Dragon Full Blessings, the Hidden Dragon¡¦s Parade, the Flying Dragon¡¦s Exotic Dance, the Dragon of Good Fortune¡¦s Eight Trigrams, and the Dragon of Knowledge and Physical Strength. Each of these dragons also represent a type of blessing and good fortune: all your wishes coming true, a prosperous career, abundant wealth, good health, happiness, joy, love, safety, and wisdom ¡V in hopes that all of this year¡¦s visitors will have all of these blessings with them throughout the year.
Southern Lantern Area¡G
The lanterns in this area were designed to portray the differences between the attributes of knowledge and physical strength. At the entrance of the area, visitors
can see the various weapons of ancient China, while inside the area, visitors can enjoy the exhibition of Chinese arts and calligraphy. Existing landscapes in the area are used to provide light from both the inside and outsides of the lanterns to present the full beauty China¡¦s calligraphy art. Traditional calligraphy is presented professionally using lanterns and lights, resulting in a combined beauty of artistic images and projected lights, immersing visitors in the scholarly lights and beauty of this Southern Lantern Area.