The Embassy of Belize to the Republic of China (Taiwan) hosted a press conference on Wednesday, February 13, 2019, to unveil lanterns depicting the Great Blue Hole as well as an array of species of marine life found in the Belize Barrier Reef.
For the first time, Belize will be participating in the Taipei Lantern Festival, which takes place from February 16th-24th. According to Chinese tradition, at the very beginning of a new year, when there is a bright full moon in the sky, there should be thousands of colourful lanterns hung out for people to appreciate. The holiday is celebrated on the 15th day of the 1st lunar month (February 16th).
In addition to providing visibility of Belize to Taiwan’s populace, the Lantern Festival will be the first of many events the Embassy of Belize will host this year to commemorate 30 years of diplomatic relationship with Taiwan. In her welcome speech, Ambassador of Belize to Taiwan H.E. Diane C. Haylock stated that through participating in the festival, Belize pays tribute to one of the main cultural traditions of Taiwan while exposing the people of Taiwan and visitors to the Lantern Festival to a natural monument of Belize and a premier tourist destination of the country.
Combining international tourism, art and innovative technology as well as festive elements, the Lantern Festival is expected to drive local economic growth and boost tourism. According to Taipei’s Department of Information and Tourism, about eight million people attend the festival yearly to observe the various lanterns.
The participation of the Embassy of Belize in the Lantern Festival was made possible through contribution and support of the Central American Trade Office (CATO), the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Taiwan, and the Taipei City Government.
In attendance at the press conference were H.E. Miguel Tsao, Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs, and Mr. Chuen Ming Hsueh, Deputy Secretary General of Taipei City Government.