Category

Festivals

Category

Three Great Ways to Spend the 2017 Moon Festival in Taipei

Also known as the Moon Festival, the Mid-Autumn festival is traditionally a time to celebrate a successful harvest with barbecue, beer and of course, the traditional holiday snack of Mooncakes beneath the light of the autumn moon. As with most traditional Chinese holidays, the Moon Festival is rooted in ancient myth and legend, most notably that of Chang’e, AKA The Moon Goddess of Immortality, whose celestial domain includes not just the physical manifestation of the moon but also menstruation, pregnancy and renewal. The Mid-Autumn festival is a joyous occasion, a time when friends and family get together in Taiwan for nighttime partying, and if you happen to be visiting Taipei during the festival, you may find yourself being invited by strangers to drink beer and eat barbecue (and mooncakes) while wandering through various riverside parks in Taiwan (many of which have the rules prohibiting open fire cooking waived for the…

The ghosts were out in Keelung

We heard it before we saw it, the fireworks, chanting and singing. Before we’d even left the highway tunnel marking where the jungle-filled mountains between Taipei city abruptly becomes the bustling harbor city of Keelung we were being greeted by cacophony. It was well past sundown, but the festival was only starting to heat up as we walked the crowded sidewalks. Floats from various temples and neighborhood associations paraded through the streets. It was crowded despite the fact that we were still several blocks from the Keelung Miaokou Night Market (which is, even on a slow night, crowded by Western standards). My partner Stephanie and I were traveling with Chelsea Pearl, a blogger from San Francisco on assignment in Taiwan. MyTaiwanTour had arranged most of her tour around the island, but having not experienced the Keelung Ghost Festival before, Stephanie and I decided to tag along.    Some background…

The Taiwan International Balloon Fiesta – Colorful Balloons Paint the East Rift Valley

For more than two months each summer the Luye Highland (鹿野高台) north of Taitung City, is the venue for a marvelous event featuring colorful hot-air balloons, some of which have amazingly creative shapes. Text: Owain Mckimm Photos: Maggie Song It’s five in the morning, and the sun is just coming up over Taitung County’s Luye Highland, in Taiwan’s mesmerizing East Rift Valley (花東縱谷). With the Central Mountain Range (中央山脈) to the west and the Coastal Mountain Range (海岸山脈) to the east, the tableland provides stunning views along the Beinan River (卑南溪) system, the river’s many tributaries giving rise to a patchwork of river terraces laid out in lush fruit fields and tea plantations. At over 350 meters above sea level, the Luye Highland has, for many years, been a popular destination for paragliders, who come to the expansive grassy meadow with its sloping south-facing hillside to pursue their passion. Since…