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Taipei, Taiwan  City Info
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Late January/or early February

Taipei Lantern Festival

On the 15th day of the first month of the lunar calendar, a second "New Year" celebration takes place throughout the city. Children carry lanterns illustrated with legendary heroes, birds and beasts to Taipei's temples. It is a competition, of sorts, for favor from the "God of Heaven," whose birth this Lantern Festival, Shang Yuan, commemorates. The largest gathering of lanterns is at the Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall, an event so popular that the city fathers have extended it with various Lantern Exhibitions running through the following week.

The event combines traditional arts with modern technology, using light and music effects to display the lanterns to best advantage. Thousands of  lanterns are strung along the length of Jenai Road, lighting up Taipei City at night.


Mid March

Lao Tse's Birthday

Every year; the 15th day of the 2nd month in the Chinese lunar calendar, the birthday of the founding sage of Taoism, Lao Tse, is celebrated by Taoist practitioners throughout the world.

The date of Lao Tse's birthday is calculated according to the Chinese lunar calendar. The dates change from year to year.


Mid April

Parade of the God of Medicine

This celebration  takes place four days before the God of Medicine's actual birthday on the 15th day of the third lunar month.  It is one of the most visually stunning and vibrant parades in Taiwan, if not the whole of the Far East. The center of the celebrations, which are spread throughout the more than 160 temples of the god in Taiwan, are the temples of Pao Sheng in Taipei and the Temple of Ching Tzu in Hseuhchia.

The incredible procession at Ching Tzu Temple is more than 3km (2 miles) long and is composed of a huge number of dancing troupes, priests, pilgrims and costumed musicians. There are around 21 traditional floats decorated with flowers, each containing a figure from legend or story, as well as a number of huge statues of the medicine god himself, carried on sedan chairs on the shoulders of pilgrims. The highlight of the parade is always the performance put up by the various theatrical and dancing troupes, the Chen Tou, of which up to 78 participate at one time, showing off their talents in a suitably flamboyant manner.

The parade is headed by a group called the Centipedes and as the procession gets underway worshippers throw themselves on the ground in front of them to be trampled, in order to exorcise evil spirits and demons.

+886 (0) 2 2349 1500


Late July-Late Aug

Ghost Month Festival and Quianggu

in Taiwan, believers claim that spirits of the dead return, demanding sacrifice, entertainment and appeasement from the living, for an entire month.


From the first day of the Ghost Month, the living set up lavish feasts and opera performances to entertain the dead, burning paper money (more than 220,000 tons of paper money are burned in Taiwan every year for the festival!) to keep them happy. 

The festivities peak  on the 15th day of the month, when there are huge feasts in temples throughout Taiwan and the priests chant prayers for the dead to enable them to transcend their present condition. The festival is dedicated in part to those dead who do not have families to pray for and look after them, to enable them too to transcend to higher levels of the afterlife through sacrifice and prayer..

It is traditional in Taiwan to sacrifice a pig and a sheep for these feasts and offer them up to the invisible dead in attendance. During the feasts the cityscapes of Taiwan, particularly the temple courtyards, are transformed by tall lights set up on bamboo poles, lit to light the way for the dead. Hundreds and thousands of little floating lights are also set adrift on rivers and bodies of water, to appease the spirits of the drowned, who might otherwise return to claim new victims.

Keelung hosts the most important of the Ghost Month celebrations, with parades and elaborate feasts at Tsu Pu Tan Temple in Chung Cheng Park. The largest festivals in Taiwan are held in this area on the seventh day of the month and again at the end of the month.

+886 (0) 2 2349 1500.


Mid September

Moon Festival

The Taiwanese celebrate the year's finest moon with cakes and contemplation.

For years the lunar calendar was reflected in the cycles of the soil, while the autumn moon marked the end of the agricultural year; a time to celebrate and reflect.

The Moon festival is the occasion for consumption of the famous moon cakes. Traditionally filled with red bean paste, these are presented to friends and family to mark the occasion. When darkness comes, the parks around Taipei fill with families and couples seeking to enjoy the full moon.

+886 (0) 2 2349 1500.


Ceremonies In Commemoration of Confucius at the Confucius Temple

The sage Confucius was China's greatest teacher. The anniversary of his birthday is celebrated on September 28 each year. Solemn ceremonies are held at the Confucius Temple; schoolchildren perform a ritual dance in honor of Confucius on the platform outside the Ta Ch'eng Hall. 


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