Festivals in Taipei, Taiwan

  • January Founding Day

    • 1 Jan 2014

    The day marks the foundation of the Republic of China and the first president who took office in 1912. Fireworks and parades are the main attraction, alongside lion and dragon dances in the streets.

  • Chinese New Year

    • 31 Jan 2014–3 Feb 2014

    The grandest annual celebration of the year, the New Year begins on the first day of the first lunar month. As the New Year approaches, families engage in vigorous spring cleaning which is said to ‘sweep’ away bad luck in preparation for a prosperous new year. Families typically celebrate together with grand-scale get-togethers. Little red packages along with cash are given to children and unmarried adults.

  • Lantern Festival

    • 15 Feb 2014

    Held on the 15th day of the first lunar month, this festival sees an array of colourful lanterns hung outside houses and temples throughout Taipei. As the New Year's festivities officially come to a close, children carry decorative lanterns (many of which are fashioned into animal shapes) outdoors to light up the streets. The best collection of lanterns is located at Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall.

  • Youth Day

    • 29 Mar 2014

    This holiday serves to energise Taipei's youth with stories of heroes and their accomplishments. The main event takes place at the Martyr's Shrine, where the president of the Republic of China presides over a lavish ceremony paying homage to fallen heroes who have served Taiwan in the past. Ten young people are also honoured at this ceremony in the presence of the president.

  • Tomb Sweeping Day

    • 1 May 2014

    Is known as the 'Eternal Brightness' (Qingming) Festival. Families pay respect to their passed loved ones and ancestors by gathering at cemeteries and grave sites where they tidy up the premises and hang willow branches over the graves to fend of evil, restless spirits who might interfere with the quality of the ancestors' afterlife. Children enjoy flying kites on this occasion, and many farmers ceremoniously plough their fields as a symbol of new life and renewal. Also in keeping with new beginnings, young singles are encouraged to begin new courtships at this time.

  • Dragon Boat Festival

    • 2 Jun 2014

    A symbolic event that honours the Chinese poet Qu Yuan, who drowned in a river, the Dragon Boat Festival is also intended to drive off evil spirits. Residents of Taipei drink hsiung huang wine and give fragrant sachets to children. Some people also hang moxa and calamus over their front door. Festivities are held on the fifth day of the fifth lunar month; and the dragon boat races are the main event, with well over 100 entrants competing.

  • Ghost Month

    • 2 Aug 2014

    During the seventh lunar month, ghosts are believed to be released from the afterlife and permitted one month of revelry among the living. Residents of Taipei set out libations and offerings of food for the spirits to feast on and paper money is ceremoniously burned to line the ghosts' pockets. Lanterns line the streets leading up to temples, and some areas even host parades.

  • Mid-Autumn Festival

    • 8 Sep 2014

    Held on the 15th day of the eighth lunar month, this festival traditionally marked the end of the harvesting season, when farmers could begin to wind down after a season of hard labour. Traditional moon cakes are eaten to symbolise family unity; pomelos are also a favourite festival treat at this time. Across Taipei, residents host barbecues with family and friends and indulge in gazing at the moon.

  • Teacher's Day

    • 20 Sep 2014

    Held on the birthday of Confucius, the esteemed teacher of the nation, teachers are honoured in an elaborate ceremony that begins before sunrise at the Confucius Temple. Students are specially selected by their teachers to attend the ceremony and each must hold a goose feather - symbolic for a quill, traditionally a scholar's most important tool.

  • Double Ninth Festival

    • 2 Oct 2014

    This event is held on the ninth day of the ninth lunar month, and special attention is given to respecting the community's elders at this time. Families join together to celebrate, and chrysanthemum blossoms are a recurring motif. A special cake is eaten on this day, and many residents of Taipei head out into nature to climb hills, a long-standing tradition on this occasion

  • Constitution Day

    • 25 Dec 2014

    Taiwan's constitution was officially enacted on Christmas Day. While Western visitors to Taiwan are likely to be celebrating their own holiday, residents of Taiwan prominently display the nation's flag in honour of the birth of their constitution.

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