2019 Pingxi Sky Lantern Festival 19FEB2019 Taiwan

1 Day Pingxi Sky Lantern Festival Tour on 19th February 2019, Taiwan (AUD$80 per person)

8 Days 7 Nights Taiwan Lantern Festival 2019 Tour starts on 16FEB2019 (AUD$1,500
per person twn share)

Experience the magic of the Pingxi Sky Lantern Festival when thousands of glowing lights float up into the ink black sky above the small hillside village of Shifen in northern Taiwan.

The Discovery Channel named the Pingxi Sky Lantern Festival one of the best festivals from around the planet while in 2016 National Geographic listed it among the 10 best winter trips worldwide. Taking place during the first full moon of the Chinese Lunar New Year – a date that changes every year – the Pingxi Sky Lantern Festival attracts tens of thousands of visitors to the small hillside town of Shifeng to release an estimated 100,000 to 200,000 glowing rice paper lanterns into the nocturnal skies. The next Taiwan PingXi Sky Lantern Festival will be on 19 February 2019.

A small group of people releasing a sky lantern during the day.


According to popular legend, the sky lantern was first invented during the Three Kingdoms period (220AD – 280AD) by the statesman Zhuge Lian to send military signals. Growing over time in popularity, by the early nineteenth century the sky lantern arrived in Taiwan where it merged with local lantern celebrations. Every year, at the start of the planting season, farmers would write messages on a sky lantern asking for a plentiful harvest and other wishes, and release it into the heavens to the gods and ancestors. Reminiscent of the YiPeng Festival in Northern Thailand, the release of the sky lanterns eventually grew into a local event in the Pingxi area of northern Taiwan.

What is the difference between the Pingxi Sky Lantern Festival and the Taiwan Lantern Festival?

Both festivals are held in conjunction but are separate and different events. The Pingxi Sky Lantern Festival is steeped in ancient tradition and its highlight is the release of thousands of glowing, floating lanterns into the night sky. In contrast, the Taiwan Lantern Festival was invented by the Taiwan Tourism Bureau to increase tourism revenue. It changes location every year to attract more foreign visitors to different parts of the country (in 2019 it will be in Pingtung in the country’s south). Its focus is on huge, hi-tech lanterns that mix pop culture with traditional Taiwanese icons and Chinese zodiac signs, and includes folk arts and performances.

The small hillside town of Shifen in northern Taiwan. Photo credit: Life to Reset

How to participate in the Pingxi Sky Lantern Festival 2019

Pingxi is the name of a district in northern Taiwan, not far from the capital Taipei and part of New Taipei county. The district is home to several small towns that are located along the railway and in three of them – Jingtong, Pingxi and Shifen – sky lanterns are released. Contrary to much information online, the main lantern release events take place in Shifen, not Pingxi, despite of the festival being named after the latter.

The place to be in Shifen is the main stage where normally a parking lot is, within a 10 – 15 minute walk from the train station. Try to arrive early enough – by noon – to buy and prepare your own lantern (around 200 NTD) and to sign up (free of charge) so you can release it during one of the spectacular mass release events at the stage. Make sure you find a spot by 4pm before 80,000+ visitors swarm the town.

A mass release of sky lanterns.


The first round of mass releases usually starts at 6:30pm with three releases per hour and the final one at 9:30pm. Hundreds of lanterns of the same colour – a different colour every round with each colour representing a certain value such a luck or health – ascend the sky en masse.

The lanterns are generally made of rice paper on a bamboo frame containing a small candle. People write their names and wishes onto their lantern to slowly float upwards to the gods, hoping for happiness and prosperity. Most lanterns are made of biodegradable materials, yet, the impact on the environment would still be high were it not for a post-festival clean-up operation. Even though the sky lanterns can be released during the whole year, be aware that the clean-up crews operate only during the festival.

A text message to the gods: write your wishes on your sky lantern. Photo Credit: Life to Reset

Travelling to the Pingxi Sky Lantern Festival 2019

By train: you can travel from the main station in Taipei changing at Ruifang for Shifen

By bus: there are shuttle buses offered by tour operators running from Taipei, Keelung and Juifen. In Taipei they depart from Muzha MRT station.

By taxi: a one-way trip by taxi will cost you about 1,000 NTD + waiting time if you want to ensure your ride back.

Trains and buses will be packed during the festival so make sure you’re back on time to grab a seat on the last train or bus.

The small, historical train station of Shifen, built by the occupying Japanese. Photo Credit: Life to Reset

Where to stay during the Pingxi Sky Lantern Festival 2019

Finding a place to stay in Shifen during the festival will be very hard if at all possible. Instead book a place in nearby Juifen or Keelung, or stay in Taipei and make the journey as a day trip.

For accommodation, find the best deal on our website: Taiwan Hotels Booking

More information on the Pingxi Sky Lantern Festival 2019
Official website: https://tour.ntpc.gov.tw/en-us/

Location of 2019 PingXi Sky Lantern Festival:
1) New Taipei City Pingsi District No.136, Nanshanping, Nanshan Village, Pingxi Dist., New Taipei City
2) New Taipei City Pingsi District No.92 , Shihdi Street , PingSi District , New Taipei City
3) New Taipei City Pingsi District No.45, Jingtong St., Pingxi Dist., New Taipei City

To Book with Taiwan Holidays for a worry-free & stress-free 2019 Pingxi Sky Lantern Festival by click here.

2019 Pingxi Sky Lantern Day Tour (Tour is 7hours duration departs from Taipei City on 19th February 2019 with professional English speaking tour guide & all transporation & admissions) tour pirce AUD$80 per person only! 

1 Day Pingxi Sky Lantern Festival Tour on 19th February 2019, Taiwan (AUD$80 per person) 

8 Days 7 Nights Taiwan Lantern Festival 2019 Tour starts on 16FEB2019 (AUD$1,500 per person twn share)



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