It was past 5pm when we went to Shifen Old Street. Shifen is known for its sky lanterns. It is a must place visit if you’re in nearby places such as Jiufen. From Jiufen, we rode a bus to Ruifang station and from Ruifang station we rode a train to Shifen.
Ruifang Station to Shifen Station
It was already dark when we arrived in Shifen station. We alighted the train and we see people crossing the train tracks freely, souvenir shops and street foods along the sidewalks and lanterns shops sold everywhere. Since we came for the sky lanterns, we immediately approached a nice looking guy selling lanterns.
Shifen Railroad Tracks
Lanterns have four sides, each with different colors and each color have different meanings. Red for good fortune, pink for romance, orange for money, yellow for success, white for health, green for growth, blue for hope and purple for idealism.
Vendor Lantern Guy
The cost of the lantern ranges from TWD 100 to 200 depending on the number of colors chosen. The more colors you choose, the more you pay. If you’re on a limited budget, you can select just one color and pay TWD 100 and you would still be able to fly the sky lantern. In our group, we chose 4 colors. We paid TWD 200 (divided by 3) and the kind vendor clipped the lantern on a steel frame and provided us calligraphy brushes and ink so we can write our wishes 🙂
The lantern was huge. When it was time for us to write our wishes, we were not prepared as to what to write (lol). To those who plan to include this in their itinerary, make sure you have something in your mind already since there’s so much space to write your wishes.
Anna writing her wishes
Rachelle with the train (background) passing by
From time to time, a train would pass by while we were writing down our wishes. We learned that it was normal here in Shifen to see people scurrying toward the sidewalks when a train approaches and when the train disappears out of sight, the street would once again bursts into life. Train tracks would again be filled with people coming back holding their lanterns while others would just simply be there enjoying watching lanterns fly. Isn’t that amazing!
Train Passing By
After writing our wishes, the lantern guy spread out our flat lantern and we were asked to go the center of the railroad. We were excited and thrilled! Finally, it’s our chance to be flying our own lantern! Part of the thrill and excitement was flying it in the middle of the train tracks not just as spectator but part of the group who would also be scurrying for safety hehehe.
Prosperity, Money, Career Women
We were asked to hold up our lanterns for picture-taking. You don’t even have to tell them about taking photos for they would ask for your cameras. They will also provide instructions on where to stand and where to hold the lantern while they take pictures of each side of the lantern with your wishes.
More Money, More Travels and Become Wealthy
The vendor guy probably got bored with our first two poses so he asked Rachelle (middle picture) to raise her two arms and act strong 💪💪💪(signifies good health) as written in one of our wishes. Good thing it was not me standing in the middle otherwise I would be tasked to do the same (lol).
Good Health for Us & Our Loved Ones
Again, our lantern guy asked Rachelle to raise her arms to show a heart-shaped sign since we’ve written Love in our wishes. It looked like a symbol of McDonald’s to us though hahaha but looking closely, it sure looked like a heart symbol ❤💙💚.
Love Love Love
After our pictures were taken, the lantern guy started lighting up the lantern. We were asked to hold it just like the picture below. We just need to hold it tight otherwise, it will rise in the sky.
Finally, it was time to release our lantern. As soon as we released our grip, our lantern flew up up and away. We watched our lantern flew up in the sky until we can no longer see it.
Our Lantern Gradually Rising
Our Lantern Flying Away
Flying the sky lantern was a beautiful and memorable experience for all of us. We left Shifen Old Street happy and satisfied! May all our wishes and dreams come true! ￼￼ 😘😚😊