Sunday, January 8, 2012

Sky Lanterns Of Pingxi Festival

Sky lanterns, also known as Kongming Lantern are airborne paper lanterns that are best known as a tradition found in some Asian cultures. They are constructed from oiled rice paper on a bamboo frame, and contain a small candle or fuel cell composed of a waxy flammable material. When lit, the flame heats the air inside the lantern, thus lowering its density causing the lantern to rise into the air. The sky lantern is only airborne for as long as the flame stays alight, after which the lantern sinks back to the ground.

Sky lanterns are also referred to as sky candles or fire balloons, however the latter term is also used to refer to balloon munitions used during World War II. Lanterns have proved extremely unpopular with farmers in many countries due to the potential for causing crop fires and the chance of death of livestock on consuming the lantern remains upon landing.

In Pingxi, every year during the Lantern Festival, people have their wishes written on sky lanterns, and release them to the skies.In 2009, the Lantern Festival had the presence of sky lanterns from Japan and Mexico on February 7th, and ones from China on February 9th.

The Pingxi festival is located in the Pingxi district of New Taipei City in Taiwan. They hold a sky lantern festival each year that is breathtaking to behold. Over 2,000 lanterns were released in February of 2011. In  2011, The Pingxi Lantern Festival kicked off Feb. 6 at Jingtong Elementary School in New Taipei City's Pingxi District, with visitors launching 600 sky lanterns in search of good luck for the coming year.

The clear weather attracted 60,000 visitors to the school and the old streets adjacent to it. Free gift lanterns supplied by the Tourism and Travel Department of New Taipei City, which sponsored the event, were all gone in 40 short minutes.

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