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Sky Lantern Festival of Pingxi

by Melissa Chang |

Festivals Around the World

In a remote town in Taiwan, there is a beautiful festival that lights up the night sky. On the 15th day of the lunar new year, people in the town release lanterns into the sky, filled with wishes for the new year. They write their wishes onto the lanterns, wait for them to fill with hot air, and then release them into the sky. The origins of this festival go way back. Since access to the region was inconvenient, the Han pioneers came up with the idea of releasing “sky lanterns” to let others know that they were safe and sound. Through the years this practice evolved into a popular cultural tradition celebrated annually during Lantern Festival.

Elephant Festival in India

by Melissa Chang |

Cultural Sensitivity, Festivals Around the World, India

When entering a new culture, one way to learn a lot about the people there is to visit a local festival.  Festivals can revolve around the seasons, religion, politics and much more. One famous festival in Southern India is the Elephant Festival.  Elephants are decorated in colors and gold, and the festival is dedicated to Lord Shiva, the god of destruction. The elephants themselves are seen as the incarnation of the elephant god of luck and prosperity. During the festival the elephants parade through the streets of the village to the temple. The festival is celebrated in late April or May.

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