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【SDG 17】2024 Pingxi Sky Lantern Festival: Mayor Hou Yu-ih Wishes for "Safety, Prosperity, and Inclusion with the Year of the Dragon in Pingxi"

2024-02-17



The 2024 Pingxi Sky Lantern Festival made a "dragonic" comeback today (17th), with Mayor Hou Yu-ih alongside diplomats from various countries and guests from different groups. They inscribed wishes on four 20-foot sky lanterns themed "Taiwan, World, Dragon, and Tiger" respectively. Mayor Hou wrote the wish "Safety, Prosperity, and Inclusion with the Year of the Dragon in Pingxi," hoping for harmony and well-being among youths, seniors, women, the Hakka, indigenous peoples, and new residents, and for a better Taiwan.



Mayor Hou stated that each year, the festival team from the city government innovates with creatively designed sky lanterns to attract tourists from home and abroad to Pingxi, not only boosting tourism but also creating business opportunities. This year, being the Year of the Dragon, the team, in collaboration with sky lantern master Hu Min-shu, meticulously designed four themed sky lanterns symbolizing "Taiwan, World, Dragon, and Tiger" respectively to pray for prosperity and well-being for Taiwan and the world. It is hoped that everyone brings their wishes and prayers to enjoy the sky lanterns in Pingxi. The event allows visitors globally to explore Pingxi and, by extension, New Taipei City. Moreover, with the World Masters Games 2025 Taipei & New Taipei City registration now open, Mayor Hou also took the opportunity at the festival to invite athletes to sign up for the game to support sports events and promote international exchanges.



The Secretariat from the New Taipei City Government invited a total of 255 diplomats and guests from five continents, 18 countries, and the European Economic and Trade Office in Taiwan to join visits to Pingxi Old Street. Together they released blessing sky lanterns together and shared the charm of the Pingxi Sky Lantern Festival with each other. Distinguished guests included Dr. Robert K. Lewis, Ambassador of Saint Lucia; Oscar Adolfo Padilla Lam, Ambassador of Guatemala; Mark Pearson, Representative of the New Zealand Commerce and Industry Office; Robert Niel Fergusson, Representative of the Australian Office; Anders Wollter, Representative of the Swedish Trade and Invest Council; Khairur Rizal Abd Majid, Representative of the Brunei Darussalam Trade and Tourism Office in Taipei; Miguel Alfredo Velloso, Director of the Argentina Trade and Cultural Office; Alexandre Jean Nicolas Kaufhold, Chief of the Luxembourg Office in Taipei; and Manharsinh Laxmanbhai Yadav, Director of the India-Taipei Association, among other diplomats and international guests.



The Tourism and Travel Department stated that the Pingxi Sky Lantern Festival is internationally renowned, drawing numerous foreign diplomats stationed in Taiwan to participate. In addition to the four giant themed lanterns, this year marked the first "Releasing Wishes for International Friends," where a hundred wishes from around the globe were collected online. The staff then released these lanterns on-site, spreading wishes from afar across the skies, allowing them to transcend borders and languages and illuminate Pingxi together.

Competent Authority: The Tourism and Travel Department
 
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