Chinese New Year is the most important and, at 15 days, the longest holiday in Chinese culture. In Taiwan, festivals are held throughout the holiday and welcoming the new lunar year is celebrated in different ways in different regions.
While the Lantern Festival is the most popular way to end the Chinese New Year, Taiwan also has several other folk festivals and events. All ceremonies are open to the public and free, so read on to see where you should experience Chinese New Year in Taiwan next time around!
Northern TaiwanTim Whitby / Getty Images
The annual Taipei City Lantern Festival features lanterns of all shapes and sizes. While lantern festivals are supposed to be celebrated on the last day of Chinese New Years, the Taipei City Lantern Festival goes on for days. In fact, its duration is almost as long as Chinese New Years itself. This gives locals and visitors alike even more chances to enjoy the spectacle of lanterns.
Another fun event in Northern Taiwan is the Pingxi Sky Lantern Festival. At night, between 100,000 to 200,000 paper lanterns are launched into the sky, creating an unforgettable sight.
Central Taiwanragon Bombing Festival for Chinese New year in Taiwan. Ivan/Getty Images
Bombing the Dragon is a Chinese New Year celebration in Central Taiwan during which firecrackers are thrown at dancing dragons. The cacophonous event is filled with energy and excitement.
This ritual of creating, bombing, and then burning the dragon during Chinese New Years comes from Hakka culture, one of Taiwan's minority groups.
Southern TaiwanClover No.7 Photography / Getty Images
Named for its appearance and the raucous sound of thousands of fireworks lit during this festival, the Beehive Rocket Festival in Yanshui in southern Taiwan is not for the faint of heart.
Rows and rows of bottle rockets are arranged on top of each other in a tower form, looking something like a giant beehive. The fireworks are then set off and they shoot into the sky but also into the crowd. Locals are armed with helmets and layers of fireproof clothing hoping to get smacked by a few rockets as that is a sign of good luck for the next year.
A thrilling but dangerous way to celebrate Chinese New Year in Taiwan, be sure to come prepared to the Beehive Rocket Festival if you wish to attend.
In Taitung in Southern Taiwan, locals celebrate the Chinese New Years and the Lantern Festival by Handan. This strange event entails throwing firecrackers at Master Handan, a shirtless man. The origin of Master Handan is still contested today. Some speculate he was a rich businessman while some believe he was a god of gangsters.
Today, a local person dressed in red shorts and wearing a mask is paraded around Taitung as Master Handan, while locals throw firecrackers at him believing that the more noise they create the richer they will get in the new year.