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Taipei Travel

DISCOVER TAIPEI Jan/Feb 2013 Vol.93

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The Golden Snake Brings Luck and a New Year

Spring Festival Fun in Taipei

The Snake is on the doorstep! Yes, Chinese New Year, beloved and always so eagerly anticipated by the people of Taiwan, is at the door. The Year of the Snake (also called “Little Dragon Year”) is nigh. Our theme this issue is “New Year Fun with the People of Taipei,” and we explore the many ways local folk celebrate. We go Taipei Lunar New Year Festival shopping, we explore the many customs of different ethnic groups, we tell you about the 

different auspicious flowers and plants that decorate homes during the holidays, and we give you a line-up of the many different holiday events being staged. Our goal is to guarantee you the richest and most boisterous New Year possible.

The traditional Chinese New Year holidays continue until the Lantern Festival. A favorite New Year event with visitors from overseas is the annual Taipei Lantern Festival, and in our In-Depth City Culture Explorations section we present you with a detailed introduction on the origins of the Lantern Festival’s decorative lanterns and the alluring aesthetics of this art form. We also give you detail on the program for the 2013 Taipei edition, being staged at Taipei Expo Park.

The family-reunion feast on New Year’s Eve marks the beginning of the traditional holiday. In our Taipei’s Best Foods & Gifts department we introduce the New Year customs and foods of the people of Japan, Korea, France, and India. Chinese New Year and Valentine’s Day are not far apart, so in the same section we suggest some creative gifts that you can present to your family members, friends, and sweetheart.

In winter one’s instinct is to stay indoors. Don’t. In our Mapping the Taipei Lifestyle section we take you on a grand bicycling excursion, chasing breezes, enjoying birdsong, and stretching the stress from your joints. Another reason to get out and moving is the thinking person’s need for books – we prepare you for the annual Taipei International Book Exhibition, and also introduce a number of the city’s most interesting independent bookstores, snuggled away in cozy city nooks.

Over the next few months, adding to the festive atmosphere of the Chinese New Year celebrations will be a steady stream of special arts and culture events, most notably The Taiwan Story of Sweets exhibition, Taipei Arts Awards, and Taiwan International Festival of Arts.

This is a season of cool temperatures, but as always the city will be brimming over with warm, bustling activity. We welcome you to spend some time here, soaking up the 

Taipei seasonal spirit!