Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Lantern Festival

This week, the lantern festival is going on in Taiwan this week. This is a festival that is celebrated in the fifteenth day of the first month in the lunar year (the festival goes on for a week ending on the 15th day). According to wikipedia, it is also known as Little New Year since it marks the end of the series of celebrations starting from the Chinese New Year.

Anyway, last week our friends took us to the Taichung Lantern Festival to check it out and it was pretty cool. Since it is the year of the cow, there were tons of cow lanterns up everywhere. The festival had some big elaborate ones that they put together and then they had a bunch of them that people had made at home to enter in a contest for best lantern.

Here are some of the best lanterns entered into the contest:

I like the one above because its a cow rock star and his fans! haha! But the best thing of the night was this one:

He was HUGE (maybe about 3 stories) and was sponsored by the Taichung baseball team whose mascot happens to be a cow. He even put on a show once an hour and we were lucky enough to catch it twice. If you can't tell by this clip, he is waiting for the pitch (see the ball moving towards him) and then he hits the ball! its awesome.

While we were there, we also got to see some traditional chinese theater, which was pretty cool. It was a musical (or opera) and a comedy and Eric helped to translate it so Nick and I knew what was happening. It was pretty entertaining! One thing that was kind of interesting about it was that all of the parts were played by females, even the male characters. I found this particularly interesting because in Kabuki (traditional Japanese opera) all of the characters are played by male actors... I'm not sure if the all-female cast is a cultural thing or was unique to this particular show, but I was intrigued by it.

So, all in all, the lantern festival was a good time! Many thanks again to Angel and Eric for taking us out for the night!