As incredible as the Lantern Festival is by day, it transforms into something delightfully magical at night. But beware the crush of people. Do not underestimate the danger of being trampled.
The crowds get so intense that attendance inside the City God Temple area is tightly controlled by ticket purchase, and the entrance queue into this venue is closely coordinated with observers estimating the numbers leaving at a separate exit some distance away.
Until you are well inside the entrance you have absolutely no control of your movements. You are merely one drop in a sea of humanity that transports you like some unstoppable surf surging through the streets. This lack of control is not for the claustrophobic, and one misstep could have you falling beneath the trampling feet of the throng surrounding you.
But after you get perhaps a couple of hundred yards into the main festival area the crowds thin enough that you regain control. Nevertheless, watch for uneven pavement and step-ups/step-downs along the way. Despite the danger I am glad I got to see the festival at night, although I’d be reticent to repeat this entry gauntlet again. I think in the future I would arrive during daylight, before the crowds get out of control, and just stay in area well past nightfall.
This New Year by the way heralded the beginning of the Year of the Horse, which coincidentally just so happens to also be the sign during the year of my birth.
Above our heads stretched long illuminated displays of more traditional lanterns.
Look for my favorite day and night photographs of the Lantern Festival on Fun Photo Friday. Until then, enjoy this last shot: