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Taiwan Lantern Festival

Photography by Reuters

Today marks the 25th year of the Taiwan Lantern Festival, which is celebrated on the 15th day of the first lunar month, and marks the tail end of the celebration of the Chinese New Year. This year’s festival will take place in Zhongxing New Village, Nantou County – the second largest county in Taiwan. 

The main theme for the festival is determined by the Chinese zodiac animal for the new year. This year’s lantern theme is representative of the Year of the Horse. The lantern – a 75-foot-tall “Prancing Horse” — will be lit up with more than 200,000 LED lights, and will be on display at the festival’s center stage, positioned facing Taiwan’s highest peak, Yushan, which means “Jade Mountain.”

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Sheraton Hotels Get A Makeover and Expand to China
Photo: This is the outdoor lounge at the Sheraton Tribeca in the Big Apple, where club
members can enjoy amenities while looking at the city skyline. (Sheraton Hotels)

Sheraton has renovated 103 of its hotels in North America. Starwood, Sheraton’s parent company, kicked off a $6 billion global revamp of the chain in 2007, and now it’s looking to expand in China.

An article on USAToday.com, claims the chain’s makeover has made Sheraton more competitive with other hotel chains, including Marriot, Hilton, Radisson and Hyatt.

Hoyt Harper, Starwood’s SVP of brand management, says the company cut 41 hotels from the chain because they did not meet Sheraton’s new standards, and it wasn’t a cheap move either.

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Disney in China

Construction on a new Disneyland theme park is scheduled to start as early as May in Shanghai. The Disney project will include 3 parks including Magic Kingdom, EPCOT and Animal Kingdom. The first phase of the theme park will cost $3.7 billion dollars.

According to a Chinese government statement earlier this month, plans indicate several water features, including a lake and 6-mile, man-made river surrounding the park, which will be located 13 miles from People’s Square. The gates of Shanghai Disney aren’t expected to open until 2015.

China will also be home to another new theme park. World of Warcraft, modeled after the online game, has been touted as the first video-game-themed attraction. There were rumors that the theme park was a hoax, but the Huffington Post claims there are plenty of construction photos and Chinese news stories about the project. The park will be built in China’s Wunjin district.

No word yet on when gamers will get their chance to explore the new theme park.

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