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Things to do / Cultural/Entertainment

2020 Nagasaki Lantern Festival

When night falls, many Japanese cities offer views that you couldn't buy for any amount of money. But when it comes to a city's night lights, Nagasaki will offer something special when a festival featuring 15,000 lanterns kicks off Jan. 24.

Through Feb. 9, parts of the city will be aglow with twinkling objects, including, at Minato Park, dozens of likenesses of historical figures and legendary creatures, and arrays of yellow and peach-colored lanterns along stretches of the Doza River.

The event was brought into being to mark the Lunar New Year, and a range of traditional performing arts will be demonstrated, including a lion dance, the sounds of niko (a two-stringed Chinese instrument) and a memorable ja-odori (dragon dance) at Nagasaki Shinchi Chinatown.

Before the lights are turned on, there will be activities to check out, too. At 2 p.m. on Feb. 1 and 8, people in colorful costumes will parade in a re-enactment of Lunar New Year celebration in the Qing Dynasty (1644-1912). (Yuki Yamauchi)