PingXi Sky Lantern Festival
Most Amazing Festivals in the World
Image courtesy of Deposit Photos
The Pingxi Lantern Festival in Taiwan has enjoyed 100 years of candle-lit night skies, but has increasingly come under criticism for environmental issues and fire hazards. A New Years 2020 fire caused by these sky lanterns killed dozens of primates at the Krefeld Zoo in Germany, and has finally put a serious face to this ethereal practice.
The point of the festival is sincere: people write their wishes on these paper lanterns (they are supported by metal wires), light a candle and set them to the night skies, the intention being that their ancestors will read and grant their wishes. It’s a sentimental concept, and makes the night skies dazzle, but the dangers are clear.
Still, it’s an amazing, emotional thing to witness, and advocates have suggested that using the small solar-powered tealight candles will eliminate the fire risk. Let’s hope so, as this is a festival of lights as pretty as any fireworks.