When they say starry-eyed, you’ll probably understand why.

Taiwan’s Lantern Festival is taking over Pingtung, for the first time over three decades.

Located in Southern Taiwan, Pingtung is best known for its agriculture and tourism – and also specialties such as tuna and wax apples (in Singapore the wax apple is known as ‘jambu’).

The light installations go on forever, illuminating Pingtung city with vibrant colours that keeps you looking.

Believe me when I say that this is a gigantic light installation in the form of a fish that rotates 360 degrees. Instead of the usual Chinese New Year zodiac animals this time, the main lantern featured in Pingtung County consists of a bluefin tuna known as “Giant Tuna Bringing Wealth”, representing the rich marine agriculture of Pingtung County.

Believe me still when I say that this glorious display of a bluefin tuna will remain on permanent display.

Talk about fishing for compliments. Nicely done, @ “Giant Tune Bringing Wealth”!

Wax apples and fish are not the only Pingtung specials. The light installations lining Pingtung city include features of tradition, technology, ocean and agriculture in this festival of lights.

Aside from Pingtung’s specialties, this year’s themes are “Tourism and Recreation” and “Chinese New Year”.

In order to promote “Tourism and Recreation”, Pingtung largely holds 9 large-scale festivals throughout the year, and the lantern festival in Pingtung is one of them. So, you know where you’ve got to go when you’re touring about in Taiwan!

Zhu Bajie, is that you?

You might be amused to find a row of light installations showcasing different version and looks of pigs to commemorate the year of the pig this Chinese New Year.

Be prepared to see many versions of pigs as the Taiwanese commemorate the Chinese New Year.

The next point is bound to entice you if you’re all about that eco-friendly life.

Did you know that the handheld lanterns serve as useful piggy banks? This was a huge effort made by the organisers of the large-scale festival in order to promote less waste. They have also planned to exhibit some of these lantern displays at an expo in Copenhagen, Denmark sometime around fall.

Organisers of the lantern festival have mentioned the reusing or repurposing of the main lanterns to keep waste to a minimum.

There is also a “Green Energy Lantern” area that’s solar-powered and sugarcane fibre is used for the lanterns so that disposal in any way wouldn’t be so hardcore on the precious Earth.

The organisers comprise the Pingtung County government and the Taiwan Tourism Bureau who have painstakingly planned for this large-scale event with many other teams who have come together to pull this off.

The organisers have planned and negotiated for a full 365 days for the event to be successful, involving more than a thousand people in the planning process.

A major factor is fund-raising – and a lot of the people involved are dedicated to raise funds for people who need these funds. A heart-warming estimate of 6000 volunteers took up shifts for Pingtung’s lantern festival.

The whole team of organisers have put a lot of thought into safety, emergencies and transport.

Rest assured that the best has been done – This includes breastfeeding rooms for women, fifty information stations for lost souls, and the 2019 Taiwan Lantern App that will aid you greatly in getting around and finding your desired spots.

Safety drills have been done by the organisers for all the scenarios they can come up with in order to ensure that they are as prepared as they can be

Help yourself to yummy snacks on on the sweet and salty spectrum and booths that sell interesting products such as bring-home snacks, accessories, bags, clothes and more!

The list of Taiwan’s Lantern Festival offerings in Pingtung goes on.

If you’re flying to Taiwan this month or the next, do make sure to give this beautiful place a visit for some awesome photo memories! Also, check out the stores selling food, drinks and interesting products such as bracelets, bags, necklaces and more.

The Lantern Festival in Pingtung ends on the 3rd of March.

Safe and happy travels!