Pingxi Sky Lantern Festival

Pingxi and Shifen are two towns built on the charming Pingxi rail line with very atmospheric old towns. Both towns are now famous for the release of sky lanterns and make for an interesting day trip from nearby Taipei or Jiufen around a 40-minute drive away. The practice of lighting sky lanterns became widespread in this area during the mid-19th century when the area often fell victim to bandit attacks. Villagers would light sky lanterns to let their families in surrounding villages know they were safe. Pingxi and Shifen are now the only areas in Taiwan where the government permits sky lanterns to be released. These days sky lanterns are decorated with personal wishes and released into the sky for good luck by both locals and tourists all year round. This culminates with the annual Sky Lantern Festival which takes place in Pingxi, at the end of the lunar year (January/February), where hundreds of glowing lanterns rise into the night sky.

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