The Nagasaki Lantern Festival is absolutely the highlight in the Nagasaki Calendar year. The Chinese New Year is always an exciting occasion. Fireworks and fire crackers chase away evil spirits and dancing dragons and lions invoke the blessings of the heavens. Hands are clasped in hopeful prayer, tables groan under mountains of sumptuous dishes and lanterns burn brightly into the night heralding spring. Every year the Famous Nagasaki Lantern Festival brings all this exuberance to life.
As night approaches, some 15,000 lanterns light up the the city and thousands of people descend upon the festive illuminated Chinatown where night stalls selling yamcha are enveloped in steam and traditional Chinese music fills the air. On the stages throughout the city, acrobats, dancers and musicians entertain, bathed in the warm glow of the lanterns. Nagasaki’s Lantern Festival is much more than a celebration of the Chinese New Year, it is a celebration of the city’s five-hundred-year legacy of openness to diversity, change and modernity.
For those reasons the Nagasaki Lantern Festival is held in Chinatown (also known as Shinchi) in Nagasaki City. During the festival period, about 15,000 lanterns (Chinese paper lanterns) and paper ornaments of the Chinese Zodiac Animals, decorate the city. They add a rich touch of colour to the urban district and attract people to the mystical world.
I implore anyone who likes a great festival to come and visit the Nagasaki Lantern Festival in February between the 7th and the 21st, you won't be disappointed but you will have to struggle with the crowds especially on the weekends, but still worth the effort!
Check out the famous Nagasaki Lantern Festival on a map!
Please click on the pictures to enlarge.
Even the Train Station gets a display
Interesting Lantern Characters
Even the famous spectacle bridge gets transformed
Reflections over the river
The arcade is full of colour!
Check out all the videos below of the Famous Nagasaki Lantern Festival: