Diplomatic allies Belize and St. Kitts and Nevis are set to help light up the Taipei Lantern Festival running Feb. 16-24 with installations themed on the countries’ attractions, enriching the annual event and deepening cultural links.
Organized by the Taipei City Government, the event’s centerpiece is a giant illuminated pig mascot called Zhu Bao. The nine-day festival will take place over several sites in the metropolis’ Zhongzheng and Wanhua districts.
According to Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs Tsao Li-jey, the allies’ participation is promoting people-to-people exchanges and strengthening partnerships. He also encouraged locals to visit the two countries since the nation’s passport holders enjoy visa-free stays for up to 90 days in both.
With this year marking 30 years of diplomatic relations between Taiwan and Belize, the presence of the Latin American country at the event is especially meaningful, Tsao added. Belize’s installation is a marine scene based on the Great Blue Hole, a giant sinkhole off the coast of the country and part of a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
St. Kitts and Nevis’ light display is a model of the Berkley Memorial, a clock and drinking fountain that stands in the country’s capital Basseterre. In addition, Hirosaki and Matsuyama cities from Japan and Shanghai in China are also contributing lanterns, TCG said.
The event features a creative market, an exhibition zone for graffiti artists from Taiwan, Japan, Thailand, U.S. and U.K., a parade and street performances. The city government said it also collaborated with the Walt Disney Company (Taiwan) Ltd. to create a six-meter Mickey Mouse lantern to celebrate 90 years since the launch of the world famous cartoon character. (CPY-E)