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Saisiat Festival 2019

Saisiat Festival in Taiwan – November 11, 2019

Also spelt as ‘Saisiyat’, is one of the aboriginal tribes in Taiwan that inhabit the mountains separating Hsinchu and Miaoli counties with approximately 7,000 people.

The name “Saisiyat” means “true people” and is reflective of the ethnocentric outlook that is common to indigenous groups throughout the world. Inhabiting the mountains separating Hsinchu and Miaoli counties, the approximately 7,000, saisha are divided into northern and southern subgroups.

Saisiyat society is organized along patriarchal lines, with each clan maintaining its own totems and symbols. This tribe is known for its biennial Dwarf Festival.

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Double Ninth Day 2019

Double Ninth Day in Taiwan – October 7, 2019

The Chung Yeung Festival (Double Ninth Festival) is a traditional Chinese holiday celebrated only in Taiwan on the ninth day of the ninth lunar month.

The festival is directly related to the philosophical concept of yin and yang, two interconnected aspects that symbolize dark and light, night and day, the moon and the sun, femininity and masculinity, earth and sky, water and fire, accordingly.

According to Chinese tradition, nine is a yang number. The double nine (i.e. the 9th day of the 9th month in the Chinese calendar) has too much yang, which is potentially dangerous. Hence, it is customary to perform special rituals that help avoid danger. One can climb a mountain, drink chrysanthemum wine or tea, or wear Cornelian cherry (zhuyu). Cornelian cherry and chrysanthemum are believed to have cleansing and protecting qualities. In China and Hong Kong, many people visit ancestral graves to pay their respects to the deceased.

They clean the grave, leave food offerings, and burn incense sticks. In Taiwan, the Double Ninth Festivals is also known as Senior Citizens’ Day. On this day, citizens of Taiwan demonstrate their care for and appreciation of the elderly.

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Constitution Day

Constitution Day in Taiwan – December 25

Constitution Day in Taiwan is celebrated on December 25. It marks the adoption of the Constitution of the Republic of China in 1946. Constitution Day is not a public holiday, but it is sometimes marked with relevant official events.

The first Constitution of the Republic of China was adopted in 1912 after the Xinhai Revolution that overthrew the Qing dynasty. It was a provisional constitution framed by the Provisional Government led by Sun Yat-sen. Another provisional constitution was promulgated in 1931 by the nationalist government led by Chiang Kai-shek.

The current Constitution of Taiwan was adopted in 1946 in the aftermath of the Second Sino-Japanese War. Chiang Kai-shek was pressured into adopting a democratic constitution that ended one-party rule of the Kuomintang. The National Assembly adopted the Constitution on December 25th, 1946. The document came into effect one year later, on December 25th, 1947.

December 25th was officially designated as Constitution Day in 1963. It is not a national holiday, so many businesses remain open. Over the years, Taiwan’s Constitution Day has lost its significance. It coincides with the Christmas day, and many people celebrate Christmas instead.

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Dōngzhì Festival

The Dōngzhì Festival in Taiwan – December 21

In Taiwan, the winter solstice is celebrated with a traditional Chinese festival known as the Dongzhi Festival.

The Dongzhi Festival is celebrated on the shortest day of the year. Its origins can be traced back to the ancient yin and yang philosophy of the cosmic balance and harmony between two opposites. The Winter Solstice Festival is a time for family get-togethers.

One of the festival’s traditions is cooking and eating of tangyuan, small balls made of glutinous rice. They are considered to be a symbol of reunion because their name is a homophone for the Chinese word for “union”. Tangyan are typically served as a dessert, they can be plain or stuffed with sesame, sweet been paste, tangerine peel, etc. In northern China, people also eat savory dumplings on Dongzhi.

In Taiwan, people use the festive food as an offering to the deceased ancestors. The Taiwanese also have a unique custom of making nine-layer animal-shaped cakes as a ceremonial sacrifice to honor the ancestors. The most common shapes are a chicken, cow, pig, sheep, duck, or tortoise. All these animals are associated with auspiciousness in Chinese tradition.

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Saisiat Festival 2018

Saisiat Festival in Taiwan – November 22, 2018

Also spelt as ‘Saisiyat’, is one of the aboriginal tribes in Taiwan that inhabit the mountains separating Hsinchu and Miaoli counties with approximately 7,000 people.

The name “Saisiyat” means “true people” and is reflective of the ethnocentric outlook that is common to indigenous groups throughout the world. Inhabiting the mountains separating Hsinchu and Miaoli counties, the approximately 7,000, saisha are divided into northern and southern subgroups.

Saisiyat society is organized along patriarchal lines, with each clan maintaining its own totems and symbols. This tribe is known for its biennial Dwarf Festival.