Saturday, March 6, 2010

Lantern Festival

I believe I came to Taiwan at the best time. There are two different semesters that I could have been here, and this one is definitely the best. We get more days off (which we get paid for) we miss typhoon season and we got to see Lantern Festival.

Lantern Festival lasts for about a week and today me, Candice and Carly went to Chiayi to see the largest Lantern Festival in all of Taiwan. It was only an hour and a half train ride to Chiayi. We got off the train and started walking down the street that would lead us to the Festival and went into a book/stationary store. We spent a good hour or so in that store. the bottom floor was books and the top was anything imaginable that was related to school and then some. It had art supplies and random collectables. I cannot explain the randomness that I found there, but it was definitely interesting. We then continued to walk towards the festival. Once we got there is was about dusk so the lights started to turn on. It was pretty cool to see all the different displays. The displays were was massive and the area was much larger than I thought it would be. There were not a lot of lanterns, but more lit up stationary floats. It is the year of the Tiger, so the tiger was raised above the other and it would move around in a circle. We got there when a performance was beginning and the big theatrical part was the tiger turned in a circle to music. There might have been more things afterwards, but we could not understand what the announcer was saying. For some reason he was speaking Chinese?!?! I have not yet mastered the language. I am very close though; I know hello, foreigner, american and the numbers 1-3!

Below are some pictures taken today, with my new camera!!! I love it. The color is very vivid and I feel like the pictures turn out much better. So far it has been a great buy! Thank you Nicholas and Stacy for taking me and interpreting for me. I have become so grateful for kind, considerate people. Living in another country and not being able to communicate what I want is hard, so when there are people there to make it easier I have become much more appreciative for their willingness to help me.

Lantern Festival! Great thing to experience and partake of as a local. (I got my resident visa and officially live in Taiwan!!!)
I love the cute little pink dress the tiger has on!
There is a restaurant that we call the toilet restaurant because they serve all of their courses in different types of toilets. We find an ice cream vendor that served their ice cream in a squatter! Of course I had to get one and document it! I think it is so funny, and definitely want to go to the restaurant.
My favorite Tiger of them all at the festival. I feel like this is the typical idea of something asian... a karate tiger!
The massive Tiger that was near the main performance stage.

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