Lunar New Year Traditions at Bao An Temple (保安宮) and Taipei Confucius Temple (台北孔廟)

Happiest Lunar New Year to my readers! To celebrate the first day of the lunar calendar, why not ring in some blessings, and spend time observing the wonderful temple traditions. Here I am at the UNESCO Cultural Heritage listed Dalongdong Bao An Temple (大龍峒保安宮), probably at its busiest and most vivacious during this time of the year.

First day of the Lunar New Year (初一) is dedicated to family, and families will gather in temples to start the year auspiciously – with good thoughts and well-wishes that comes with praying to ancestors and the gods. A visit here at Bao An though, is not complete without a customary side trip to the nearby Confucius Temple (台北孔廟), and savouring favourite street eats down the road!

Just like for me, I hope this year will bring you to new roads and kingdoms, and satiate some of your relentless curiosities!

Happy Year of the Playful Dog!

New Year Traditions in Old Taipei

If you are a visitor to Taipei during around February, without a doubt you would have heard to hit up Dihua Street in Dadaocheng (迪化街,大稻埕) for its hustle and bustle as locals prepare for the new year.  The usual quiet and calm of old Dadaocheng will abruptly change, becoming loud and spritely of people eager to prepare for Taiwan’s most important celebration. I was one with the throng of people yesterday, sampling all sorts of delicacies that would only be be found this time of the year. Continue reading

The Sky Lanterns of Pingxi

Once a year, the quiet little valley of Pingxi (平溪) is abuzz with festive spirit as glowing orbs light up the night sky. While Lantern Festivals elsewhere in Taiwan often meant spectacular exhibits of modern pyrotechnics and live concerts, the most popular light event to welcome the Lunar New Year is still based on the humble floating lantern known as tian deng (天燈), in a little county just a small distance away from Taipei. Continue reading