Rainy skies can't stop hundreds of couples in Taiwan from celebrating Valentine's Day by sending candle-lit lanterns floating off into the night, during the annual Lantern Festival. Diane Hodges reports.
It was a rainy Valentine's day in New Taipei City, but these showers couldn't quench the flames of love. Hundreds of couples sent their wishes for the upcoming year sailing off into the night sky, in the annual lantern festival. (SOUNDBITE) (Mandarin) 30-YEAR-OLD TAIWANESE WOMAN, YEN YU-FANG, SAYING: "We hope that all our work can be successful this year and that our families can be healthy." The festival is celebrated in Taiwan each year after Lunar New Year. This year, it coincided with Valentine's Day. People of all ages gathered to write their wishes on some 14-hundred lanterns, many of them shaped like hearts. (SOUNDBITE) (Mandarin) 36-YEAR-OLD TAIWANESE MAN, KEVIN YANG, SAYING: "We have set off lanterns before, but this is the first time for us to do it with so many others. It feels like everyone's energy is connected and will help our wishes come true." Among this year's participants -- Taiwanese President Ma Ying-Jeou. His wishes -- written on a balloon covered with hearts -- were for the victims of the deadly earthquake which struck the southern city of Tainan earlier this month, that the coming months will bring better fortune to them.