My local Taiwanese friend Serena told me about the Chinese New Year lantern festival. I looked at the official page and saw that it was held in Pingxi district on Valentines Day. I was debating for days whether to go or not due to the weather. I wasn’t even sure the lanterns would still be able to fly with the rain. I posted a message on their facebook page, and got a response that the lanterns would be able to fly! After watching some of the past pingxi videos I thought I could produce a quality video that was different from the ones in the past.
The weather websites forecasted heavy rain so I packed a large umbrella and our camera gear. We took the train from Taipei Main station to Ruifang and from there we transferred to Pingxi. I’m glad that Serena helped me because catching the trains to Pingxi was a confusing process due to train delays, mostly schedules in chinese, and misinformation. We met some people that were going there as well and pretty much followed them there.
It was heavy rain as predicted when we arrived about 20 minutes before 9pm. We purchased the rain suits to wear over our clothes. The show ended early around 9pm and we rushed to catch the last show. As we were nearing the site, we saw the last batch of lanterns go up without warning. We manage to catch some footage of them, but the wet conditions slowed me down. I had to use some past footage of the lanterns to keep the flow of the video
We were disappointed, but manage to find a tent where they were letting lanterns off individually. This was a blessing in disguise because it gave us an opportunity to talk to some people who were kind enough to talk about their lanterns. As you can see in the video the lanterns go up very quickly. The people we spoke to were genuine, and it was great to people to connect with them on a more intimate level.
It was miserable weather and with the weather it was very difficult conditions to film. However, the genuine happiness from the people we spoke to from the people we spoke to helped to lift our spirits.
We hope you enjoy this video that gives you a different perspective into the pingxi lantern festival than some of the videos in the past have.
00:007 train journey to pingxi
00:30 first lantern launch
00:44 – first interview with couple creating their lanterns
01:34 French man explains his side of the lantern
02:36 couple gets ready to launch their lantern
3:03 – Singaporean couple talk about their valentine lantern and share info
04:25 – a local Taiwanese pair explain their lantern
5:17 – Taiwanese pair light up their lantern
5:33 – Lanterns rise to the sky
Produced and filmed by Greg Hung for ChicVoyage Productions
Big thanks to Serena Hsu
Some footage of lanterns from the 2012 Pingxi Festival courtesy of:
https://vimeo.com/36752441 (Cory Wright)
https://vimeo.com/36219932 (hamish dudley)
FAR ASIAN FANTASIA