Banana man outshines competition at Nantou County lantern festival

A 10-meter-tall rotating, singing rat that takes selfies complete with flashes and clicks every thirty minutes is the official central attraction at the Nantou Lantern Festival this year, but a lantern named “Banana Brother” is proving to be one of the most outstanding exhibits.

The festival kicked off on January 18, spanning the Lunar New Year holidays, and running until February 9. Divided into 15 themed subject areas, the lanterns are arranged to illuminate various aspects of Nantou County, its localities, and local industries.

One local industry, located in Gouxing (國姓) Township, raises Sambar Deer, producing velvet antler, and deer penis. Both products are used in traditional Chinese medicine.

Deer lanterns featuring both antlers, and large, extended penises have therefore been a feature of the annual lantern festival for many years.

Deer lanterns featuring parts of the anatomy used in traditional Chinese medicine provide a glowing reference to local industry in Nantou County, Taiwan.

But this year, the deer industry faced stiff competition from banana producers as Banana Brother took the stage, causing some visitors to blush.

When asked by reporters whether or not the exhibit was somewhat controversial, a county agriculture bureau official replied that it is a only a creative model, and just one of 30 works of art exhibited in the section: one shouldn’t overthink, or make the wrong mental associations about it.

The Banana Brother lantern features a “charming smile” according to United Daily News.
A giant rat that sings, rotates, and takes selfies at Nantou County Lantern Festival, 2020
The star of the show was supposed to be a giant, singing, rotating rat, but it was upstaged by a banana. Picture: Nantou County Government.
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