FESTIVALS and EVENTS Around Taiwan

Note: The order of appearance of the following festivals and events is according to the time of the year when they usually occur. Dates can change however over time. We try to update the info frequently, but some of it might be outdated. The year in the bracket […] indicates when the info was last updated.

JANUARY

[2021] January 1 / Chiayi County

Alishan Sunrise Impression Concert
阿里山日出印象音樂會

Where do you want to see the first rays of the sun in the year 2021? How about at one of the most famous sunrise-viewing spots in Taiwan? Visitors take the Alishan Forest Railway to the Zhushan sunrise-viewing platform inside the Alishan National Forest Recreation Area each day of the year, but perhaps the best day to go is January 1. To celebrate the occasion, and to warm up the visitors who go on this most likely cold predawn outing, a live classical-music concert has been staged each year since 2002.
Alishan National Scenic Area

Alishan sunrise
[2022] January 7~ 16 | Taipei City

Taipei Camellia Festival
臺北茶花展

The Floriculture Experiment Center was the place where camellia breeding started first in northern Taiwan. Due to the slightly acidic soil, year-round mist, and other suitable conditions, camellia and rhododendron were introduced to the area during the Japanese Colonial Period. What started as a hedgerow has now become a camellia tunnel. When the flowers are in bloom, a pink tableaux is formed, making this a favorite area for visitors to take photos. The Taipei Camellia Festival lasts for only 10 days, during which the camellia bloom in succession. Precious camellia bonsais (potted landscapes) on loan from camellia experts from around Taiwan are on display. Flower lovers should be sure not to miss this grand annual camellia flower event!

[2021] January 28 ~ February 10

Taipei Lunar New Year Festival
臺灣年味在臺北

To give Taipei a distinctive Lunar New Year flavor and satisfy the needs of people to buy Lunar New Year goods, “remove the old and bring in the new,” “gather around the stove” for a family meal, and buy gifts etc., a professional team is commissioned to organize the Taipei Lunar New Year Festival. A series of activities gives the city its own Lunar New Year image and convey the festival’s most important meanings of reunion and bustling festive atmosphere. The event is be combined with activities held by Taipei’s Lunar New Year goods shopping districts attracting large crowds.

[2020] January 29 ~ May 20 / Taichung City

Taichung City Mazu International Festival
大甲媽祖國際觀光文化節

Among the main deities worshipped in Taiwan, Mazu, the Goddess of the Sea, is arguably the most important. There are hundreds of temples on the island dedicated to the goddess, and elaborate festivals are held to celebrate her birthday (23rd day of 3rd lunar month; April 15th in 2020). The biggest and best-known Mazu event is the annual Mazu Pilgrimage in central Taiwan, starting at Taichung’s Zhenlan Temple in Dajia District. Before and during the pilgrimage, endless fascinating religious ceremonies and rituals can be witnessed as part of the Taichung City Mazu International Festival.
Taichung Tourism and Travel Bureau
Zhenlan Temple (Chinese)

[2021] January 30~February 28

Lohas Cherry Blossom Festival
樂活夜櫻季

When the cherry trees are in full bloom in Taipei enjoy some evening romance! The borough chief and volunteers planted around 300 cherry trees along a trail beside the Neigou River in Neihu and now visitors can enjoy different varieties of cherry trees, including Taiwan Cherry, Yae Sakura, Showa Sakura, and Yoshino Sakura, blooming in succession in spring. The cherry blossoms are especially beautiful when they are lit up at night. Take in the beauty of cherry blossoms at night during the Lohas Cherry Blossom Festival!

FEBRUARY

[2021] February ~ March / Around Taiwan

Lantern Festival Events
燈會活動

Among the numerous Lantern Festival events staged each year, the Taiwan Lantern Festival is the largest in scale and the most important. Each year a different city or county serves as host, the honors going to Hsinchu City in 2021. The cities of Taipei and Kaohsiung have their own grand annual Lantern Festival events. For the 2020 edition, the venues in Taipei were the Ximending/North Gate area in the city’s west and the area around Nangang Station in the east. The Kaohsiung event has traditionally been staged on the banks of the Love River, with lanterns displayed beside the riverside paths that are popular with romance-seeking visitors throughout the year. The small town of Yanshui (old name: Yuejin), in Tainan City, is best known for its annual beehive fireworks festival. The Yuejin Lantern Festival, lesser known but equally attractive, is a beautiful and much more peaceful affair. You can go on romantic walks through a park and marvel at colorful and beautifully shaped lanterns floating peacefully on the waters of the town’s river.

Taiwan Lantern Festival
[2022] February 11~20 | Taipei City

Taipei Lantern Festival
臺北燈節

[2021] February / New Taipei City

Pingxi Sky Lantern Festival
新北市平溪天燈節

Releasing paper lanterns into the sky is a very popular activity for tourists who visit the scenic Pingxi Valley in New Taipei City. While sky lanterns are released throughout the year, during the time of the Pingxi Sky Lantern Festival (two weeks after the Lunar New Year) the atmosphere is especially enchanting. Thousands of revelers gather and hundreds of lanterns are released at the same time in succession, turning the night sky into a sea of orange lights. Write your wishes on your lantern and send it to the heavens!
New Taipei City Travel

Pingxi Sky Lantern Festival
[2021] February / Tainan City

Yanshui Beehive Fireworks Festival
鹽水蜂炮

While the Pingxi Sky Lantern Festival is a very peaceful and heartwarming festival, the Yanshui Beehive Fireworks Festival is definitely not. And it’s not meant to be. The origin of the beehive fireworks goes back to the late 19th century, when the people of the town of Yanshui were plagued by a cholera epidemic. Turning to the gods for help, they carried a palanquin with Guan Di, the God of War, through the streets and set off firecrackers to scare away the evil spirits responsible for the plague. This approach apparently worked, and the faithful people of Yanshui have been organizing the beehive fireworks event annually ever since.
Beehive Fireworks Festival

YANSHUI Beehive Rocket Festival in Tainan

Yanshui Beehive Fireworks Festival (photo courtesy of Wu Temple)
[2021] February / Miaoli City

Miaoli Bombing the Dragon
苗栗𪹚龍

This is another festive event organized during the time of the annual lantern festival period. It takes place at the Yuqing Temple in Miaoli City, and activities last from the first day of the lunar month to the 15th. The “bombing of the dragon” tradition (the “dragon” is a long paper dragon carried by several men) is carried out in several stages during this period: the creation of the dragon, painting its eyes (to bring it to life), welcoming of the dragon, walking with the dragon, and finally bombing it (setting off firecrackers around it and in the end burning it).
Miaoli Travel Net

Miaoli Bombing the Dragon
[2021] February / Taitung City

The Bombing Master Handan Celebration
炸寒單

Bombing Master Handan

Bombing Master Handan (photo courtesy of Taitung County Government)
[2021] February~March / Taipei City

Yangmingshan Flower Season
陽明山花季

When the weather in northern Taiwan is at its coolest in February and March each year, the cherry trees of Yangmingshan National Park burst into bloom, bringing bright red and pink colors to the otherwise grayish-green mountainsides. Azaleas and camellias and a large bouquet of other flower types also join in the fun, to the delight of flower lovers, who flock to the park in large number. Among the favorite locations to enjoy the floral beauty are Yangming Park and the Floriculture Experiment Center.
Yangmingshan National Park

Blooming cherry tree
[2020] February 14 ~ 23 / Taipei City

Shilin Residence Tulip Show
士林官邸鬱金香展

Shilin Residence Tulip Show

[2020] February 22 ~ March 8 / Kaohsiung City

Song-Jiang Battle Array in Neimen, Kaohsiung
高雄內門宋江陣

Not much of tourist interest goes on in Kaohsiung’s quiet rural district of Neimen for most of the year, but there is one exception, the annual Song-Jiang Battle Array event. This week-long festival, a mix of religious rituals and sports-like competition, brings together groups of young performers from around Taiwan, who converge on Neimen to show off their troupe-array martial-arts skills and compete against each other. The festival is a fantastic spectacle, packed with exciting and at times highly acrobatic performances that are accompanied by the sound of drums and other traditional instruments.
Neimen Song Jiang Battle Ritual (Chinese)

Young performer during the 2019 event

MARCH

[2021] March / Tainan City

Taiwan International Orchid Show
臺灣國際蘭展

Orchids have been cultivated in Taiwan for more than a hundred years, and over the last two decades the local production has been increased significantly, making the island one of the most important orchid exporters in the world. More than 90% of Taiwan-grown flowers shipped abroad are orchids, with moth orchids being the most important. This orchid show is not only an important event for international orchid buyers, but also a great exhibition of all types of orchids for the common flower lover.
Taiwan International Orchid Show

Beautiful orchid, cultivated in Taiwan
[2019] March 9 ~ April 15 / Chiayi County

Alishan Sakura Season
阿里山花季音樂會

During February to April the Alishan Forest Recreation Area, a popular tourist attraction throughout the year, becomes even more attractive despite high-mountain winter weather that can be quite cold. The area boasts different types of cherry trees with slightly differing blooming times, including Formosan, Yoshino, Fuji, and Yaebenishidare cherry. The Yoshino cherry trees are the most numerous, and their large pink-petal blossoms are especially photogenic. Another treat for photographers is the old steam locomotives of the Alishan Forest Railway that can be seen running during this time of the year.
Alishan National Scenic Area

Alishan Forest Railway
[2019] March 17 / New Taipei City

New Taipei City Wan Jin Shi Marathon
新北市萬金石馬拉松

This road race is different from the many other running events staged throughout the year in Taiwan in that it has been recognized as a Silver Label race by the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF). As such, the marathon has joined the ranks of elite road races around the world, and attracts a significant number of top marathon runners from abroad each year.
Wan Jin Shi Marathon

Start to the marathon in 2017
[2022] March 18 ~ April 24, May 20 ~ June 19 / Taipei City

Calla Lily and Hydrangea Festival
竹子湖海芋季及繡球花季

by public transport and find yourself embraced by pristine nature. Part of the park is an agricultural area named Zhuzihu, sitting in the shadows of towering Mt. Datun. During spring and early summer two types of flowers, in succession, draw droves of visitors up to the fields of the area. First to bloom is the pure-white calla lily, and later comes the hydrangea, sporting shades of purple, blue, and pink. Part of the Zhuzihu experience is picking calla lilies yourself and sitting down in one of the restaurants to enjoy healthful meals made with local produce.

www.callalily.com.tw (Chinese)

Hydrangea flowers in Zhuzihu
[2022] March 26 ~ May 8 / Yilan County

Yilan Green Expo
宜蘭綠色博覽會

Yilan County, situated in the northeast corner of Taiwan, is known for its agriculture – mostly on the triangular-shaped Lanyang Plain – and its forest-covered mountain areas – encompassing most of its western and southern parts. It’s the perfect location for an exposition that highlights green tourism and protection of the natural environment. This expo is both an educational and fun affair, ideal for families with children, who will revel in adventurous activities such as ziplining, encounters with farm animals, and nature-themed DIY classes and games.

travel.yilan.tw (Yilan County Government)

Dongshan River EcoArk Park

APRIL

[2022] April ~ May / Around Taiwan

Hakka Tung Blossom Festival
客家桐花祭

The Hakka people in Taiwan, a Han Chinese minority group that immigrated to the island starting in the mid-17th century and often settled in hilly regions, especially those of northwest Taiwan, planted a large number of tung trees for commercial purposes during the Japanese colonial era (1895~1945). Today, the trees grow in the wild and, to the delight of hikers, bloom profusively in April and May, their snow-white blossoms covering tree branches and carpeting hiking trails. During the tung blossom season, numerous cultural events are held in celebration by Hakka communities in locations close to the forests.

www.hakka.gov.tw (Hakka Affairs Council)

Tung tree blossoms
[2020] April 5 ~ June 28 / Taipei City

Baosheng Cultural Festival
保生文化祭

If you have time for just one temple visit during your next trip to Taipei, consider making it the Dalongdong Bao’an Temple. The main deity worshipped in this complex, which received a UNESCO Award for Culture Heritage Conservation in 2003, is the Baosheng Emperor, also known as the God of Medicine. The Baosheng Cultural Festival, held each year around the deity’s birthday (15th day of 3rd lunar month; April 7th this year), includes many interesting events and activities over a span of several weeks, including street parades and martial-arts performances.
Bao’an Temple

Street performance during the Baosheng Cultural Festival
[2022] April 8 ~ 17 / Pingtung County

Dapeng Bay Marine Festival
大鵬灣帆船生活節

sea, but still windy enough to be excellent for watersports like sailing and windsurfing. This festival highlights all the many fun things you can do on and around the bay. There are, for example, sailboat regattas, yachting, SUP fun, and mangrove-forest kayaking. Cultural events take place around Binwan Wharf on the south bank of the lagoon.

www.dbnsa.gov.tw (Dapeng Bay National Scenic Area)

Dapeng Bay in Pingtung County
[2022] April 15 ~ May 2 / Keelung City

Keelung Ciao
基隆潮藝術

Dark, wet, industrial…this was the image of Keelung City in the past. In recent times this harbor city to the northeast of Taipei City has been changing. In the same vein as its larger counterpart in the south, Kaohsiung, the city is slowly reimagining itself as a center of culture, modernity, and refinement. Public art is a unique way to beautify a cityscape and open visitors’ eyes to lesser-known corners of an urban environment. Keelung Ciao, first held in 2015, has gradually been introducing art into Keelung, and by doing so introducing Keelung to visiting art lovers. The creations by local and foreign artists, sometimes placed in unusual spaces like on board a ship or inside an old shipyard, encourage you to explore and discover this history-rich city and its harbor area.
www.keelungciao.org/en/

Art in Keelung (photo courtesy of Art Happening)

[2022] April 25 ~ June 30 / Penghu County

Penghu International Fireworks Festival
澎湖國際海上花火節

Each year in spring and early summer, the Penghu International Fireworks Festival gives travelers an additional incentive to visit the beautiful Penghu archipelago before the hot summer months begin. The venue is the harbor of Magong, Penghu’s only city. The reflections of the colorful fireworks on the waters of the harbor and the picturesque pedestrian Xiying Rainbow Bridge, plus live musical performances, make this evening extravaganza a highly memorable and romantic event. Shows take place Mondays and Thursdays. In addition, there will be one-off shows on Qimei Island (May 28), Wang’an Island (June 11), and Jibei Island (June 25).

www.penghu-nsa.gov.tw (Penghu National Scenic Area)
www.facebook.com/phfireworks (Penghu County Gov’t)

Fireworks over the Rainbow Bridge (Photo courtesy of Penghu County Govt.)

MAY

[2022] May ~ June / Pingtung County

Pingtung Bluefin Cultural Tuna Festival
屏東黑鮪魚文化觀光季

For lovers of fresh seafood, the fishing-harbor town of Donggang in Pingtung County is a place not to be missed. The season for bluefin tuna is April to June, and during this time of the year you can not only sample the best and freshest of melt-in-your-mouth sashimi, but also enjoy a wide variety of cultural activities. Apart from tuna, Donggang is also famed for sakura prawns and oil fish roe. From the harbor, the mainland area of Dapeng Bay National Scenic Area can be reached by vehicle with a quick drive, and you can take a ferry to Little Liuqiu (Xiaoliuqiu) island, also part of the scenic area, which is known for its coral rock formations and sea turtles.

Website: www.dbnsa.gov.tw (Dapeng Bay NSA)

Giant tuna caught (photo courtesy of Pingtung County Govt.)
[2022] May 6~15 / New Taipei City

Taiwan International Documentary Festival
台灣國際紀錄片影展

Website: www.tidf.org.tw

[2022] May 15~June 7 / Miaoli County

Miaoli Tongxiao Baishatun Gongtian Temple Mazu Festival
苗栗通霄白沙屯拱天宮媽祖民俗文化系列活動

Mazu, the Goddess of the Sea, is worshipped in countless temples around Taiwan, and processions are held and pilgrimages made in her honor by tens of thousands of the faithful each year. While the Dajia Mazu Pilgrimage in central Taiwan is better known, the Baishatun Mazu Pilgrimage from Baishatun Gongtian Temple on the Miaoli County coast to Beigang Chaotian Temple in Yunlin County (total route 400km) is equally impressive and vibrant, albeit on a somewhat smaller scale. The pilgrimage takes 8 days to complete, with stops at many Mazu temples along the way where visitors can witness traditional rituals and street performances.

Website: www.baishatun.com.tw (Baishatun Gongtian Temple)

Mazu statue (photo courtesy of Miaoli County Govt.)
[2018] May 26/27 / Pingtung County

Spring Wave Music & Arts Festival
春浪音樂節

After being staged the last two years at Taipei’s Dajia Riverside Park, this year the annual Spring Wave Music & Art Festival returns to Kenting National Park this year [2018] in the far south of Taiwan. The line-up of performers includes some of the big names of Taiwan’s pop and rock scenes, including Van Ness Wu, Sandee Chan, Miss Ko, MJ116, Julia Wu, Auntie Roxy, and Leon Zheng. Kenting National Park is a wonderful natural playground featuring sandy beaches, stretches of upraised coral-rock coastline, tropical forest, and a busy tourist-oriented village (Kending) offering scores of shops, restaurants, and hotels.
Spring Wave Music & Art Festival

[2020] May 30 ~ September 30 / New Taipei City

Fulong International Sand Sculpture Art Festival
福隆國際沙雕藝術季

This is a very popular happening on a very popular beach on Taiwan’s Northeast Coast. The fine sand found at Fulong Beach is said to be perfect for creating sand castles, and that might explain why during each year’s festival incredible large, life-like, intricate, and highly creative sand sculptures wow the crowds. The themes in 2020 were in line with the year being the Year of Mountain Tourism and 2021 being the Year of Cycling in Taiwan. Expect to see large sculptures featuring high mountains and creations showing people exploring Taiwan on two wheels. Those concerned about strong sun exposure during daytime will be delighted to know that the sand sculptures can also be enjoyed in the evening, colorfully illuminated.
Northeast and Yilan Coast National Scenic Area

Fulong Beach with sand sculptures

JUNE

[2019] June/July / Tainan City

Salt and Sand Sculpture Art Festival
一見雙雕藝術季

The well-known sand-sculpture festival at Fulong is not the only such festival in Taiwan. In the southwest of the island, in Tainan City, another annual festival is held that not only showcases sand sculptures but also works made with salt. The sand sculptures can be seen at Mashagou Beach, just to the north of Jiangjun Fishing Harbor. The salt sculptures are presented inside an exhibition hall at the Qigu Salt Mountain in Qigu District, a well-known tourist attraction that resembles a large snow-covered hill.
Southwest Coast National Scenic Area

Sand sculpture on Mashagou Beach
[2020] June ~ December / Around Taiwan

Taiwan Cycling Festival
臺灣自行車節

Held annually since 2011, the Taiwan Cycling Festival is an important event promoting bicycling in Taiwan. The festival is comprised of a host of cycling events, including the Taiwan KOM (King of Mountain) Challenge, a bike ride from Qixingtan Beach just north of Hualien City to the Wuling pass (3,275m above sea level) in the Mt. Hehuan area; the Come!Bikeday event at Sun Moon Lake; the Formosa 900 round-island bike ride; the Light up Taiwan Lighthouse Cycling Tour; and the Taichung Bicycle Carnival.
Taipei Cycle Festival Portal

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Sun Moon Lake Cycling, Music & Fireworks Festival
日月潭花火音樂嘉年華

This festival combines active fun (bicycling and road running) with passive enjoyments (music concerts and a fireworks show), all happening on the shores of Sun Moon Lake. The bicycling event, named Come!Bikeday, is a relaxed ride around the lake made by hundreds of cyclists, while the road run is a marathon race following the same route. The musical entertainment features popular, indigenous, and classical music. Accompanied by the classical music, the fireworks show lights up the lake with vibrant colors reflecting off the water’s surface.
Sun Moon Lake National Scenic Area

[2022] June 1~September 15 / Yilan County

Wu Sha Cultural Festival
吳沙藝文季

www.wu-sha.org.tw (Chinese)

[2022] June 3/ Changhua County

Lukang Dragon Boat Festival
鹿港慶端陽系列活動

One of the big three annual traditional festivals in Taiwan, the Dragon Boat Festival is best known for dragon-boat races. These are staged on rivers and lakes in more than a dozen locations around the island, including Taipei’s Keelung River and Kaohsiung’s Love River. In recent years the competition at Lukang, which takes place on the Fulu River, has emerged as perhaps the most attractive dragon-boat race event. Making it special is the fact that the races take place in the late afternoon and evening with boats, bridges, and riverbanks colorfully illuminated. Many of the town’s streets are also lavishly decorated for the occasion. Lukang is a history-rich old settlement, once a thriving saltwater port, that is great for nostalgia trips for those who want to experience the Taiwan of yesteryear.
Website: tourism.chcg.gov.tw (Changhua Travel)

Dragon boat racing in Lukang
[2022] June 18 ~ 26 / Taoyuan City

Shihmen Reservoir Hot Air Balloon Carnival
石門水庫熱氣球嘉年華

Website: www.balloon.tycg.gov.tw (Chinese)

[2022] June 21 ~ September 12 / Taitung County

Taiwan East Coast Land Arts Festival
東海岸大地藝術節暨月光・音樂會

This festival combines the beauty of Taiwan’s East Coast region with the beauty of outdoor installation art and music. Each year, the organizer invites artists from Taiwan and abroad to create installation artworks that blend nicely with the natural environment of the East Coast National Scenic Area. A central element of the festival is the romantic Moonlight Sea Concert series, featuring well-known musicians from around Taiwan. As the concerts are timed to coincide with days around the full moon, spectators can (weather permitting) see the moonrise and the moonlight reflection on the waters of the Pacific Ocean. Moonlight Sea Concert shows in 2022: July 14/15, Aug. 13/14, Sept. 10/11/12.
Websites: www.teclandart.tw (TEC Land Arts Festival), www.eastcoast-nsa.gov.tw (East Coast National Scenic Area)

Moonlight Sea Concert (photo courtesy of East Coast NSA Admin.)
[2021] June 28 / Hualien County & Nantou County

Taiwan KOM – Summer
臺灣KOM登山王之路-夏季

Who will be the King of the Mountains (KOM) in 2021? Or better, who will be the “kings,” because there will be more than one opportunity to snatch a winner’s crown in grueling bicycle races up steep mountain slopes this year. While the main Taiwan KOM Challenge bicycle race, from the Pacific shore in Hualien City to the dizzying central mountain heights at Wuling, the highest highway point in Taiwan, will take place at the end of October, additional KOM races have been added to the calendar. A spring race in late March and a summer race in late June, both following the same route as the main race, are giving ambitious riders even more opportunity to test their mettle. There are numerous other, less challenging, cycling events this year as well.
Taiwan Cyclist Federation (Chinese)
Taiwan Cycling Web (Chinese)

Bike riders on the way to Wuling
[2020] June 30 ~ September 30 / Matsu Islands

Glimmers in Matsu
微光馬祖

Matsu National Scenic Area

JULY

[2020] July / New Taipei City

Ho-Hai-Yan Gongliao Rock Festival
新北市貢寮國際海洋音樂祭

The second large summer event on Fulong Beach each year (for the first, see the Fulong Int’l Sand Sculpture Art Festival entry), this three-day music event allows you to sit in soft golden sand and listen to tunes by leading Taiwanese indie rock bands, pop bands, and DJs, as well as international acts. Last year there were more than 80 performances on three stages. Fulong can be easily reached by taking an eastbound train from Taipei. Apart from visiting the sand-sculpture and music festivals, many visitors will also go on bicycle rides through the old Caoling railway tunnel. Visiting Fulong can also be combined with exploration tours along the Northeast Coast, including visits to Bitou Cape and Nanya’s strange rock formations.
New Taipei City Travel

Outdoor MUSIC EVENTS Around Taiwan

Enjoying rock while sitting on the soft sand of Fulong Beach

[2022] July ~ August / Nantou County

Nantou Starry Night Festival
南投星空季

Each year from late July to late August a meteor shower known as Perseids can be seen in the clear night sky of central Taiwan’s Nantou County. It is one of three major meteor showers each year. The most spectular display can be seen around August 13, with up to 100 shooting stars per hour lighting up the night sky canvas. The best spots for watching this spectacle are conveniently reached locations with low light pollution such as Hehuanshan (Mt. Hehuan; certified as an International Dark Sky Space by the International Dark-Sky Association), Sun Moon Lake, and the forest areas of Xitou and Sanlinxi.

Website: travel.nantou.gov.tw (Nantou Travel)

Night sky over Mt. Hehuan (photo courtesy of Nantou County Govt.)
[2017] July ~ August 30 / Matsu Islands

Tern-Watching Tour, Matsu
生態賞鷗暨海上看馬祖

The many uninhabited smaller islands and surrounding waters of the Matsu island group provide perfect nesting and feeding grounds for a large variety of seabirds. For bird lovers, the best time to go and see these birds, including the Bridled Tern, Black-napped Tern, Roseate Tern, Crested Tern, Black-tailed Tern, Reef Egret, and Fork-tailed Swift, is June through September. Boat trips to the islands are available from Fu’ao Harbor on the island of Nan’gan. There are no landings, and boats will keep a distance from the birds, so bringing binoculars and a telephoto lens for your camera is advisable.
Matsu National Scenic Area

Sea birds on a Matsu island
[2022] July 2 ~ August 15 / Taitung County

Taiwan International Balloon Festival
臺灣國際熱氣球嘉年華

This is one of the biggest and best tourism events during the summer months in Taiwan, and one of the top hot-air balloon festivals worldwide. The venue is the Luye Highland in Taitung County, about 20km north of Taitung City, a site with perfect conditions for air sports such as paragliding. The festival not only attracts tourists in large number, but also hot-air balloon pilots from abroad, who bring balloons of intriguing shapes and colors with them. For those who want to experience the sensation of slowly rising up into the sky, there are both tethered flights and free flights available, the first taking you about 20 meters off ground, the latter allowing you to fly, in much longer sessions, over the beautiful East Rift Valley countryside.

Official Website: balloontaiwan.taitung.gov.tw

Balloon flying over the East Rift Valley (photo courtesy of Taitung County Govt.)
[2022] July 2~7 / Taipei City

Taipei International Book Exhibition
台北國際書展

The Taipei International Book Exhibition (TIBE) is an important annual event for publishing professionals and book lovers in Taiwan and throughout East Asia. Thousands of visitors come to explore the latest in the world of publishing. Each time one country is featured as the “Guest of Honor,” and this time France is the center of attention. After being realized as an online exhibition over the last two years because of the pandemic, the show is reverting back to its physical form in 2022, to the delight of book lovers looking forward to participation in the many events taking place at the Taipei World Trade Center.

Official website: www.tibe.org.tw

Book exhibition (photo courtesy of Taipei City Govt.)
[2020] July 18 ~ August 30 / Yilan County

Yilan International Children’s Folklore and Folkgame Festival
宜蘭國際童玩藝術節

Each year, when the summer gets intensely hot, this festival helps everyone, especially children, to cool down and have fun in a large pool-facility area. This event, taking place in Yilan County’s Dongshan Township, provides more than just refreshing water, water slides, and water cannon to play with. It is an international happening with many exciting stage performances by troupes from Taiwan and abroad presenting entertaining and educational shows. There is also a wide range of classes and DIY sessions available, giving children myriad opportunities to gain knowledge. Side activities include dragon-boat paddling, sailing, and kayaking on the Dongshan River, adjacent to the festival venue. In the evening you can watch a mesmerizing water and light show.
Yilan Int’l Children’s Folklore and Folkgame Festival

The festival draws a lot of people seeking to cool off and have fun
[2022] July 21~24 / Miaoli County

Earthfest 2022
地球革命音樂祭

Facebook

AUGUST

[2019] August / Hualien and Taitung Counties

Amis Harvest Festival
阿美族豐年祭

Council of Indigenous Peoples

[2019] August~ September / Hualien County

Hualien Daylily Blooming Season
花蓮金針花季

Among the most enchanting scenes of the East Rift Valley in eastern Taiwan are the fields of blooming daylilies in late summer/early autumn. There are two main areas where you can take in the floral beauty: Mt. Chike in Yuli Township and Sixty Stone Mountain in Fuli Township. Both mountain areas present visitors with amazing vistas over the East Rift Valley, the daylilies adding orange hues to the mountain slopes. Access to both locations is via steep and narrow roads; if you don’t have your own means of transport, note that shuttle-bus services are offered from central Yuli and Fuli during the blooming season.
East Rift Valley National Scenic Area

Orange daylily field
[2022] July-August / Keelung City

Keelung Mid-Summer Ghost Festival
雞籠中元祭

This event, lasting a full month, is one of Taiwan’s major festivals. It takes place during the 7th lunar month (July 29~Aug. 26 in 2022), in Taiwan referred to as “Ghost Month.” According to folk belief, at this time of year the gates separating the realms of the living and the dead open and ghosts return to wander the earth. In order to appease these wandering souls, lavish offerings are made in front of temples in Keelung and a plethora of rituals and ceremonies is celebrated. Among the numerous highlights of the festival are the Door-Opening Ceremony at Laodagong Temple on Day 1 and the Water Lantern Parade and Releasing of Water Lantern on Day 14 of the lunar month.

Website: tour.klcg.gov.tw (Keelung Travel)

Zhupu Altar in Keelung during the Ghost Festival
[2022] August 5~8 / Taipei City

Taiwan Culinary Exhibition
台灣美食展

Since its first edition three decades ago, the annual Taiwan Culinary Exhibition, held at the Taipei World Trade Center, has presented food lovers with the best of local cuisine. The event has grown significantly over the years, as has the scope of the food-related themes featured along with the number of exhibitors and visitors. In 2019, the last year the exhibition took place (cancelled in 2020 and 2021 because of the pandemic), almost 140,000 visitors attended. Among the topics covered, besides local cuisine, were international cuisine, kitchenware and utensils, locally sourced produce and ingredients, culinary arts, food-centered travel and souvenirs, and culinary education.
Website: www.tcetva.tw (Chinese)

[2022] August 5~14 / Kaohsiung City

Creative Expo Taiwan
臺灣文化創意設計博覽會

Since the Creative Expo Taiwan was first held in 2010, it has experienced exponential growth in the number of exhibitors, participating countries, and visitors, becoming one of Asia’s largest cultural and creative expos. Each year, the expo challenges the public and the cultural/creative community to stretch their imaginations and explore Taiwan’s culture. Activities include cross-disciplinary seminars and topic-based conferences. Design and branding are also discussed, as participants work to promote and broaden Taiwan’s cultural and creative soft power. This year, for the first time, the expo will be held in Kaohsiung City’s brand-new Kaohsiung Music Center.

Website: creativexpo.tw (official website); kpmc.com.tw (Kaohsiung Music Center)

[2021] August 8 ~ September 6 / Yilan County

Toucheng “Qianggu” – Grappling with the Ghost Pole-Climbing Competition
頭城搶孤民俗文化活動

Taking place at the end of the annual Ghost Festival period, the Toucheng “Qianggu” ghost-grappling competition is a fun event to watch – and to participate in (if you’re one of the brave local lads that take part). Groups of young men compete against each other climbing up greasy poles made of China fir, soaring 11m high, to reach a platform from which they climb 7-8m higher up on a bamboo trestlework to snatch the winner’s flag. The event at the town of Toucheng in Yilan County is the largest such competition in Taiwan. A similar pole-climbing challenge is held in Hengchun, Pingtung County, close to a well-known preserved section of the town’s old protective wall. Both events include many other cultural activities, such as religious ceremonies, cultural performances, and food markets.
Yilan County Government

Pole grappling in Yilan’s Toucheng Township (photo by Chen Zi-qing)


[2017] August 12 ~ September 12 / Hsinchu County

National Yimin Festival
全國義民祭

The ceremonies and other rituals of this Hakka festival take place during the seventh month of the lunar calendar in 15 village districts located in Taoyuan and Hsinchu, northwestern Taiwan. The festival, which is organized along with Ghost Festival traditions, commemorates the bravery of over 200 men who sacrificed their lives fighting against rebels in the late Qing dynasty. The brave men are revered as Yimin Ye in the temples of Hakka communities, the most important of which is Xinpu Yimin Temple. For visitors, the festival is a great occasion to see Hakka culture at its liveliest, with many exciting cultural performances taking place on the plaza in front of the temple in Xinpu.
Hsinchu County Government

Hakka people celebrating the Yimin Festival
[2019] August 15~16 / Pingtung County

Hengchun Pole Climb Festival
恆春古城國際豎孤棚觀光文化活動

Like the Keelung Mid-Summer Ghost Festival, this traditional event, which takes place in the southern Taiwan town of Hengchun in Pingtung County, is part of the annual Ghost Month activities. According to legend, the idea of climbing greasy poles came about in the late 19th century when the rich people of town thought about ways to avoid fights and injuries among the poor people who received their offerings. Today, climbing the poles is all about pride and team spirit, and the activity has become a great spectator event, drawing thousands of onlookers each year.
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Pole climbing in Hengchun in 2018

SEPTEMBER

[2018] September / Around Taiwan

Taiwan Braised Pork on Rice Festival
臺灣滷肉飯節

If you want to eat like the locals in Taiwan, braised pork on rice is definitely a dish you should try on your next visit. This simple dish is widely available, from small eateries to big restaurants and from night-market stands to food courts in modern department stores and malls. Made with ground pork marinated and boiled in soy sauce, it is usually served in a small bowl. Other small dishes are also usually ordered to make a full meal. The goal behind this festival, held for the first time last year, is not only to promote the humble dish itself but also Taiwan’s local food culture. A group of Taiwan’s best eateries selling braised pork on rice in different variations is selected by the organizer, their chefs going on a tour of six cities to present their yummy creations to salivating crowds.
Taiwan Braised Pork on Rice Festival

Braised pork on rice
[2022] September 4 / Nantou County

Sun Moon Lake International Swimming Carnival
日月潭國際萬人泳渡

Sun Moon Lake is the largest freshwater lake in Taiwan, and one of the island’s best-known tourist destinations. Swimming in the lake is prohibited, but there is one major exception, the annual Sun Moon Lake Swimming Carnival. This swimming event was organized for the first time in 1981, with just 540 swimmers crossing the lake. In 2020, its 38th edition, a total of 21,800 swimmers took to the water to complete the 3km swim from Zhaowu Wharf on the northern shore of the lake to Ita Thao Wharf on its southeast side. Because of the global pandemic, the swim, which is not a competition but a relaxed affair with a party atmosphere, did not take place last year.

Websites: www.sunmoonlake.gov.tw (Sun Moon Lake NSA); www.pulifourswim.tw (Puli Four-season Swimming Association)

Cross-the-lake swim (photo by Chen He-lu)
[2022] September 17 / Yilan County

Taiwania Ultra Trail
台灣棲蘭林道越野

This sporting event takes long-distance runners through the pristine forest along the usually off-limits Qilan Forestry Road in Yilan County. An official International Association of Ultrarunners (IAU) event promoted by the government, it features runs over three distances (25, 50, and 100km) with top finishers receiving scores for the International Trail Running Association (ITRA) rankings. At an altitude of above 2,000 meters and with unpredictable weather (high chance of rain), it is regarded as a highly challenging competition. If you are not a long-distance runner, note that visiting part of the Qilan forest area (Divine Trees Garden) is possible via guided tours offered by the Lealea Makauy Ecological Park.

Websites: www.ctau.org.tw (Taipei Chinese Association of Ultrarunners), makauy.lealeahotel.com (Lealea Makauy Ecological Park)

Divine Trees Garden
[2020] September 27 ~ October 4 / New Taipei City

Yehliu Night Tours
野柳石光-夜訪女王

2020 poster

OCTOBER

[2022] October / Lienchiang County (Matsu Islands)

Tieban Tower Burning Festival
鐵板燒塔節

The Tieban Tower Burning Festival takes place at Jinbanjing Tianhou Temple in the village of Tieban close to the southernmost point of Nangan Island. The festival originated in mainland China’s nearby Fuzhou area, and is part of the traditional Mid-Autumn Festival revelry. Activities during the day (including a small parade through the village) lead up to the highlight of the event, a grand fire in a small makeshift brick tower on the beach close to the village. The symbolic meaning of this burning spectacle is “getting rid of the old, inviting in the new.”

Website: www.matsu-nsa.gov.tw (Matsu National Scenic Area)

Photo courtesy of Matsu NSA Admin.
[2022] October / Lienchiang County (Matsu Islands)

“Niujiao Coming of Age Ceremony”
牛角做出幼

Niujiao is a village in the northeast of Nangan known for its fiery-red-walled Niufengjing Wuling Temple, which is the main venue for the ceremony. The event is a coming-of-age-ritual for 16-year-old islanders, during which Lady Linshui, the Goddess of Birth and Fertility, and other deities are thanked for protecting children during their upbringing. The participating teens undergo a series of age-old rituals at the temple before being symbolically released into early adulthood.

Website: www.matsu-nsa.gov.tw (Matsu National Scenic Area)

Photo courtesy of Matsu NSA Admin.
[2022] October / Lienchiang County (Matsu Islands)

Mazu Ascension Day
媽祖昇天祭

Mazu Ascension Day is all about celebrating Mazu, the Goddess of the Sea, beloved by millions in Taiwan and southeast coastal China. According to legend, the body of Mazu was washed upon the shore of Nangan after saving members of her family during a typhoon. Nangan Tianhou Temple, on the west coast of the island, contains her sarcophagus. The temple is the venue for the Mazu Ascension Day events, held to celebrate the deity’s ascension to heaven. Part of the festivities is an elaborate ceremony with traditional artistic performances and an evening prayer gathering for safety and good fortune.

Website: www.matsu-nsa.gov.tw (Matsu National Scenic Area)

Photo courtesy of Matsu NSA Admin.
[2017] October 1 ~ 4 / Kaohsiung City

Kaohsiung Zuoying Wannian Folklore Festival
高雄左營萬年季

The modern Wannian Folklore Festival dates from 2001, when the Kaohsiung City Government’s Civil Affairs Bureau began coordinating and sponsoring traditional events in Zuoying District. Since 2005 the Taiwan Tourism Bureau has been lending a hand, and the festival has grown steadily in popularity. The star of the event is the Great Wannian Fire Lion, a cute yet dignified effigy far larger than a real lion. This lion will tour temples in the district for eight days, accompanied by lion dancers, drum and gong musicians, and constant firecracker explosions beneath and around it. On the final day the lion will arrive at Lotus Pond, where it will be set ablaze in spectacular fashion. The festival allows you to experience Taiwan folk religion up close, and witness the passion of the people of Kaohsiung for their customs and traditions.
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Part of the festival is a grand fireworks show
[2019] October 1~31 / Chiayi County

2019 NPM Asian Art Festival
故宮亞洲藝術節

In 2017 ago the Southern Branch of the National Palace Museum, located in Chiayi County, launched the first NPM Asian Art Festival, a month-long happening that showcases a different country each year. After shining a spotlight on the art of India in the first edition, and of Singapore in 2018, in 2019 it was all about Thailand. Exhibitions, stage performances, lectures, and guided tours will bedazzle visitors with the wonderful cultural wonders that Thailand has to offer.
Southern Branch of the National Palace Museum

Southern Branch of the National Palace Museum in Chiayi County
[2020] October 1 ~ 10 / Miaoli County

Sanyi International Wood Carving Art Festival
三義木雕藝術節

The town of Sanyi in Miaoli County is known for mostly one thing, wood sculpture art, and there is perhaps no better time to visit than during this festival. While the Sanyi Wood Sculpture Museum, the festival’s main venue, can be visited year round, the festival has numerous attractive activities at other sites that allow you to see master carvers at work and even do some woodcarving yourself. While in the area, be sure to go on an unforgettable rail-bike ride on a decommissioned railway line starting at quaint Shengxing Railway Station.
Sanyi Wood Sculpture Museum

Wood carver in Sanyi
[2020] October 1 ~11 / Yunlin County

Yunlin International Puppet Theater Festival
雲林國際偶戲節

Staged annually since 1999, the Yunlin International Puppet Theater Festival is a great gathering of puppet-theater lovers young and old. The festival takes place in Yunlin County’s Huwei Township, known as Taiwan’s center of puppet theater, and neighboring Douliu Township. Last year, local and foreign troupes conducted around 100 puppet performances, entertaining the crowds with a wide range of puppet drama. Apart from the performances, visitors can enjoy a host of other activities, including exhibitions and DIY workshops.
Yunlin International Puppet Theater Art Festival

Glove puppets in Huwei’s puppet museum
[2020] October 2 ~ December 20 / Miaoli County

Miaobei Arts Festival
苗北藝術節

Website

[2021] October 2~ 3 / Taipei City

Nuit Blanche Taipei
臺北白晝之夜

Taipei’s version of the annual nighttime arts festival Nuit Blanche was first staged in 2016 after the city government was invited to host a local edition of the event by the Bureau Français de Taipei, which represents France’s interests in Taiwan. Since the first-ever Nuit Blanche (2001 in Paris, France), similar events have been organized in well over 100 cities around the world. It’s a fun celebration of the arts jam-packed with exciting street theater, music, and dance performances, sophisticated light and laser shows, light-art sculptures, and much interaction between performers and revelers to ensure all have a great time.
Website: english.culture.gov.taipei (Taipei City Department of Cultural Affairs)

Nuit Blanche art installation (photo courtesy of Taipei City Department of Cultural Affairs)
[2017] October 7 ~ 15 / Taichung City

Taichung Jazz Festival
臺中爵士音樂節

Taichung in central Taiwan, the island’s second-largest city, is justifiably called by many a city of culture. It is known for its excellent museums, such as the National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts, and premier venues for cultural performances, such as the world-class National Taichung Theater. For more than a decade the annual Taichung Jazz Festival has been setting the tone for the city’s cultural vibe. The main stage is set up in Civic Square in the center of the city, a large square-shaped park surrounded by modern high-rises. Music lovers flock here to take in open-air performances by local jazz troupes and well-known jazz artists from abroad. The Calligraphy Greenway, a popular pedestrian area connected to Civic Square, is the festival’s other key performance venue.
Taichung Jazz Festival

Taichung Jazz Festival
[2020] October 9~18 / Nantou County

Nantou Global Tea Expo
南投世界茶業博覽會

Nantou County in central Taiwan is an important tea-growing region, with tea plantations covering large areas of land and tea farmers producing a wide variety of excellent teas. The annual Nantou Global Tea Expo is the perfect event for learning more about this local industry and sampling the best teas available. The expo has been staged 10 times to date, attracting many a tea lover eager to find and buy new selections just to his or her liking. Having tea farmers showcasing their products in one place at the same time makes the tea purchase convenient, educational, and highly enjoyable. For travelers that do not necessarily intend to buy anything, there is also a rich cultural program with tea-themed performances put on for entertainment. Nantou Global Tea Expo (Chinese)

Tea plantation in Nantou County’s Lugu Township
[2019] October 18 ~ 20 / Taipei City

World Music Festival
世界音樂節

World Music Festival

2019 poster
[2019] October 18~21 / Taipei City

Art Taipei
臺北國際藝術博覽會

Art Taipei is an important annual event for art lovers in East Asia. Held for the first time in 1992, the fair is organized by Taiwan’s Ministry of Culture and the Taiwan Art Gallery Association. In 2018, works from 135 galleries in 13 countries, including outstanding examples of contemporary art, were presented to professional buyers and the general public. Each year the event also includes themed exhibitions, art salons, lectures, and guided tours.
Art Taipei

2019 poster
[2020] October 31 ~ November 22 / Taoyuan City

Taoyuan Flower Festival
桃園花彩節

Website: www.2020tff.com.tw

[2020] October 24~25 / Miaoli County

Kite Culture and Hakka Food Festival
苗栗國際風箏節暨客家美食

Hosted by the Miaoli City Office
Taking place at Miaoli Riverside Park
15 kite-flying teams from around
More than 1,000 kites
Focus on Hakka culture

NOVEMBER

[2020] November 1 / Penghu County

Gaillardia Islands Penghu Cross-Sea Marathon
菊島澎湖跨海馬拉松

Offering mostly flat terrain, but strong winds and strong sunshine; the conditions for road running on the islands of Penghu are a mixed bag. Taking on a challenge is a matter of course for marathon runners, and a unique route intrigues many, making the annual Penghu Cross-Sea Marathon one of the most attractive runs on Taiwan’s tightly packed road run calendar. The “Cross-Sea” part of the name refers to the traverse of three sea-crossing bridges that connect Penghu’s main islands. The race starts close to the southwestern tip of Xiyu Island and ends in Magong City on Penghu Main Island, on the way traversing the islands of Baisha and Zhongtun. Penghu National Scenic Area

Daguoye basalt rock formations on Penghu’s Xiyu Island
[2020] November 1 ~ 30 / Taipei City

Loving in Guandu – Flowering Your Happiness
愛戀關渡—花現幸福

The Taipei City Government is cooperating with businesses in the Guandu Plain area on the northern bank of the Keelung River, staging a flower festival during the month of November. During this time of the year, flower lovers come here to enjoy fields filled with strikingly colorful flowers, including the garden cosmos, sulfur cosmos, zinnia, and sunflower. You can also see the beautiful Guanyin Mountain and the magnificent Datun and Qixing mountains in the far distance. With the bikeway along the Keelung River passing right by the fields, combining flower gazing with a YouBike bicycle jaunt is highly recommended. During the time of the festival you can also take advantage of a shuttle bus service between MRT Qilian Station and the flower fields.

Guandu flower field (photo courtesey of Public Works Department, Taipei City Government)

[2021] November / New Taipei City

The Silver Grass Festival of Caoling Historic Trail
草嶺古道芒花季

The global pandemic has significantly disrupted Taiwan’s festival and event calendar this year, but it’s safe to say that celebrations of nature’s beauty are being affected the least. In November the slopes of many a mountain in northern Taiwan will appear even prettier than during other times of the year, with their tall silvergrass blooming and its feather-like flowers gently swaying in the wind. This is a great time to go for a hike in Yangmingshan National Park or along the Caoling Historic Trail on the Northeast Coast, both known for the abundance of silvergrass covering their mountain slopes.

Caoling Historic Trail

Northeast Coast and Yilan Coast National Scenic Area

[2021] November 1 ~ 30 / Tainan City

Kunshen Wangye’s Salt for Peace Festival
鯤鯓王平安鹽祭

For more than 300 years, producing salt from seawater was an important industry in the southwest of Taiwan. The industry ceased to exist in 2002, after Taiwan’s WTO entry, but the Jingzaijiao Tile-paved Salt Fields in Tainan City’s Beimen District remain in place as a popular tourist attraction. In 2004, the annual Kunshen Wangye’s Salt for Peace Festival was held for the first time by the Southwest Coast National Scenic Area Administration to celebrate the old industry and to highlight the region’s traditional beliefs and rituals related to salt. Activities take place at the salt fields and at the Nankunshen Daitian Temple (about 5km away), including a procession between the two places, captivating dragon dances, and the giveaway of thousands of auspicious sachets filled with salt.
Southwest Coast National Scenic Area

Jingzaijiao Tile-paved Salt Fields
Nankunshen Daitian Temple

[2021] November ~ December / Taichung City

Xinshe Flower Festival
新社花海節

Large fields of flowers are commonly described in Taiwan as “seas of flowers,” and there are many locations around the island where you can enjoy these feasts for the eye throughout the seasons. Perhaps Taiwan’s best flower-theme event featuring seas of flowers is the Xinshe Flower Festival in Taichung, held at the end of each year on a 40-hectare farm operated by the Taiwan Seed Improvement and Propagation Station. The vast colorful fields of numerous types of flowers are perfect backdrops for photo taking. Visitors also have ample opportunity to get to know other types of Xinshe produce as well, try local specialties, and visit other tourist attractions in the area.
2020 Festival Site
Taichung Tourism and Travel Bureau

“Sea of flowers” in Xinshe
[2019] November 16~17 / Kaohsiung City

Kaohsiung Lion Dance Festival
高雄戲獅甲

This exciting event, which takes place once every two years, brings together the best lion dance performers from Taiwan and Chinese communities abroad. In 2017, 10 groups from Malaysia, Indonesia, Hong Kong, Singapore, Mainland China, and Taiwan competed against each other. The competition takes place at two separate venues, the Kaohsiung International Swimming Pool and the Kaohsiung Arena, the participants performing acrobatic moves on high poles placed in the swimming pool and above the arena floor, respectively.
Kaohsiung Travel

Lion dance performance (photo courtesy of Kaohsiung Museum of History)
[2020] November 18~22 / Taitung County

Taiwan Open of Surfing
臺灣國際衝浪公開賽

In recent years, the tiny fishing harbor at Jinzun in Taitung County has become an international traveler hotspot. It’s not the harbor itself that draws – mostly young – people from around the world, but the pebble beach and sea area just to the north of it, where surfers find perfect conditions for riding the waves. In autumn and winter, ideal surfing swells are created outside the harbor’s dyke thanks to the northeast monsoon. The Taiwan Open of Surfing will be held for the tenth time at Jinzun this year, with highly talented surfers expected to put on a marvelous show once again.
Taiwan Open of Surfing

Surfers at Jinzun Harbor in Taitung County
[2020] November 18 ~ December 20 / Taipei City

Roar Now! Bangkah
萬華大熱鬧

[2020] November 21 ~ 22/ Taipei City

Exit Music Festival
台北出口音樂節

Website

[2020] November 27 ~ December 13/ Taipei City

Shilin Residence Chrysanthemum Show
士林官邸菊展

Facebook

[2017] November ~ December / New Taipei City

Christmasland in New Taipei City
新北市歡樂耶誕城

Where can you experience a happy big dose of Christmas spirit in Taipei come December? While in Western countries Christmas is for many the most important festival of the year, in Taiwan, where followers of the Christian faith make up only about 4.5% of the population, it is naturally of lesser importance. There is, however, one big-time Christmas-themed event, Christmasland in Banqiao District, New Taipei City. The center of attention each year is a giant artificial Christmas tree, illuminated with a sophisticated light and imagery show. Last year the façade of the New Taipei City government building also served as a gigantic canvas for an entertaining animation show.
New Taipei City Travel

Christmasland in Banqiao, New Taipei City

DECEMBER

[2018] December / Pingtung County

Pingtung Wanjin Christmas Festival
屏東萬金聖誕季

Located in the deep countryside of Pingtung County in southern Taiwan, Wanchin Church would not look out of place in a Mexican village. The first edition was built in 1863 by monks of the Dominican Order, and it was rebuilt in 1870 in Spanish fortress architectural style after the original structure was destroyed in an earthquake. In the days leading up to Christmas each year, the church is colorfully illuminated and the street and plaza in front of it beautifully decorated, attracting large numbers of visitors in search of a unique Christmas atmosphere. When visiting the township where the church is located, be sure to try the famous Wanluan pig trotters, a specialty of the area.
Pingtung County Government

Colorfully illuminated Wanchin Church
[2018] December 5 / Taipei City

Qingshan King Festival
青山王祭

Info in Chinese

[2021/2022] December 17 ~ January 2 / Chiayi City

Chiayi City International Band Festival
嘉義市國際管樂節

First staged in 1993, this year’s will be the 30th edition of the Chiayi City International Band Festival, the most anticipated cultural extravaganza in the city each year. Organized by the city government, the festival has a rich program that includes a street parade, a grand evening show, indoor and outdoor concerts, a brass band theater, and other events centered on marching band music. Because of the ongoing pandemic, this year there will likely be no foreign troupes participating; individual conductors and musicians from abroad are being invited instead to provide continuance with two important parts of the festival: international cultural exchange and joint performances by local and foreign musicians.
Chiayi City Government

International performers entertain the crowd
[2020] December 20 / Taipei City

Taipei Marathon
臺北馬拉松

Just a few days before Christmas, which in Taipei means mild temperatures that are perfect for road running, the Taipei Marathon takes place in the heart of the capital. This is for many local athletes the highlight of the annual race calendar, and entry slots can be hard to come by, with the number of participants in the full marathon limited to 8,000 runners; 20,000 are allowed to run the half-marathon. The races start and end at Taipei City Hall, with the route following along some of the city’s main thoroughfares.
Taipei Marathon

Taipei Marathon (photos courtesy of Chinese Taipei Road Running Association)
[2020] December 31 / Taipei City

New Year’s Eve Celebration
臺北最HIGH新年城-跨年晚會

Around the world, the New Year’s Eve end of the year is celebrated with a countdown and fireworks, and Taiwan is no exception. The most spectacular of these pyrotechnic shows on the island is without a doubt the one that makes the sky-reaching Taipei 101 tower erupt in a sea of sparkling and exploding lights. The fireworks display is accompanied by a high-tech LED display on one of the giant faces of the city’s towering landmark. Throughout the evening lead-up to the spectacular, the crowds are entertained by some of the best-known and most popular local music artists.
Undiscovered Taipei

Taipei 101 Fireworks (photo courtesy of Taipei 101 Observatory)