// lantern festival // happy accidents
I still have plenty of vacation photos to share, don't worry. but on sunday two things happened: the Taiwan lantern festival opened, and I got a new camera. everything you see in this post I took with my Canon EOS M. [we'll talk more about her later] I'm still learning how to work with the different settings, but in an effort not to be editing until the 4th of July, all I did was resize these photos. and maybe crop one or two.
// festival sign // a few of the many lanterns
the festival covers a huge amount of ground. we were there for maybe 2 hours and barely saw any of it. the crowds were insane, since it was opening night and apparently the president and several pop stars were making appearances. the festival runs for another 2 weeks, so hopefully we'll have a chance to go back and see more. I'm not sure it will be less crowded though - they expect 10 million visitors before the end.
// before + after
most of the crowd seemed to be around the stage area, where there was a giant statue in the shape of the water snake [the animal of the new Chinese year]. we passed through but didn't think much of it at the time. a few hours later they turned suddenly turned all the lights off, so we decided to head out and grab some food. but then the sky lit up with spotlights, we recognized numbers counting down in Chinese, and they turned the snake on. turns out it's not a statue, but a giant lantern. go figure. I was way too far away for a good shot, but it was flashing all kinds of rainbow colors. they followed it up by blasting music and flashing all the lanterns off + on while [of course] shooting off an impressive fireworks show.
// red lanterns // new year's wishes // us + the crew
sometimes, I forget I live in Asia. I know, I know. but we've been here for 6 months now and it feels... normal. sometimes I forget that we live in Asia, but seeing red lanterns always reminds me. somehow they have become the quintessential icon to me. I've been seeing them all over lately for new year's, and at the festival they had hundreds and thousands of them hung on scaffolding. my camera was a little overwhelmed with the lighting situation, but this area was my favorite out of all we visited. it was something straight out of a movie, or maybe a dream...