Festivals in Taiwan

An overview of the best festivals

Festivals in Taiwan

When looking for festivals, Taiwan definitely has a lot to offer. Whilst some of them are very modern, most of them show the more traditional and historical side of Taiwanese culture.

Yanshui Beehive Fireworks Festival

Considered to be the world's third largest folk festival, the Yanshui Beehive Fireworks Festival in Tainan City is definitely worth a visit. Every year in February, a great number of people gather to celebrate the festival, which was originally created to drive the cholera plague out of the city. There will be thousands of firecrackers, all igniting at the same time, which makes it sound like a million bees flying through the sky. The festival is combined with the Pingxi Sky Lantern Festival.

Pingxi Sky Lantern Festival

The lanterns used at the Pingxi Sky Lantern Festival are supposed to be the ancestors of the hot air balloon (to which the Taiwanese have an event devoted as well!). During the Three Kingdoms period, the little lanterns were used to send messages between warriors. When they were introduced in Taiwan in the 19th century, people used them for prayers for the coming years and to send them up to their ancestors. It is now one of the biggest “New Year's Eve” festivals in the world.

Springwave Music & Art Festival

If you are looking for a music festival, then the Springwave Music & Art Festival in Keelung City in April might be a good one to visit. With lots of top artists from both Taiwan and abroad representing various genres such as rock, hip-hop and electro, the two-day outdoor festival is a must for music lovers.

Lukang Dragon Boat Festival

A different annual event in Taiwan is the Lukang Dragon Boat Festival, which involves a ‘Welcoming the Dragon King’ ceremony and dragon boat races. Also part of the festival is a Folk Festival Tour in which traditional costumes and food are presented. More information about the event can be found on the website of Changhua County: http://tourism.chcg.gov.tw/EN/ 

Taichung City Mazu International Festival

TheTaichung City Mazu International Festival is one of the largest and most important folk festivals in Taiwan. The festival, a pilgrimage, is a mixture of art, religion, industrial and academic culture, tourism and opera which makes it an excellent opportunity to discover the local culture. There is no specific date for the festival, as this is chosen during the Lantern Festival (as described above) by using traditional moon blocks.

Taiwan has many other festivals, which can be found on the website of the Taiwanese tourist board: http://eng.taiwan.net.tw/ 

Further reading

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