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Taipei Travel

DISCOVER TAIPEI Jan/Feb 2012 Vol.87

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Spring Prayers and Blessings

Celebrating the Chinese New Year in Taipei

The year 2012 has arrived, meaning a fresh start for us all. And the people of Taipei have even more reason to celebrate this year, since the city was recently chosen to host the 2017 Summer Universiade. This happy news will add that much more to the air of festive revelry during the soon-to-begin Chinese New Year holidays, before government and citizens move forward in unison to prepare for what will be Taiwan's largest-ever international sporting competition. 

Since the Chinese New Year season is fast approaching, our special theme this issue is “Spring Prayer and Blessings – Taipei Journeys.”We'll be taking you on tours following local citizens around town as they head to temples to pray for good fortune in the year to come, and also tell you about all the many small, symbolic New Year traditions people follow to invite blessings and good fortune.

In our Taipei's Best Foods & Gifts section we help you to find traditional New Year foods and the most memorable gifts, while in Mapping the Taipei Lifestyle we take you on a tour of the old Dadaocheng community on foot and by bike, and for some New Year“Big Street” shopping, rounded off with an exploration of the extensive nearby riverside park. The New Year celebrations close with the beauty and boisterous colors of the Lantern Festival. The 2012 Taipei Lantern Festival sees two key international artist villages adding to the bedazzling artistry with an ambitious festival of lights.

At this time of year,“All things begin again, and all things are new.”In this same spirit, this issue of Discover Taipei introduces several new features, in a continuing effort to best match your needs and interests. For example, in this issue's In-Depth City Culture Explorations section we introduce the beauty of Chinese calligraphic art. There is also a new feature presenting a practical mini-classroom to you on Mandarin Chinese and Taiwanese. We truly hope our new introductions help you to enjoy even more in-depth, interesting, and rewarding explorations of this city's endless beauties and fascinating culture. 

Those of you with a passion for the world of cultural-creativity design will especially enjoy our new section titled The Taipei Quest – World Design Capital. Taipei is bidding for World Design Capital honors in 2016, and an endless stream of attractive new“points of design light”are being brought online, changing the face of the city. In this issue we visit one of the city's bright new green jewels, Songshan Cultural and Creative Park, showcase and incubator of this city's deep-flowing currents of design energy. We also report on such momentous events about to hit the city stage as the 2012 Taiwan International Festival of Arts and two exhibitions focused on its animation arts.

The Year of the Dragon is here, and a time to begin anew. Discover Taipei has a fresh new look and a new approach, so let's head out on an exploration of a city that's also in the process of inventing a whole new look for itself.