The Lunar New Year is a public holiday in Taiwan, and it is hugely celebrated. For 2022, it’s the year of the Tiger.
This public holiday is also known as Chinese New Year, and it’s one of the major holidays in Taiwan as each day is off for schools and most businesses.
The Lunar New Year holiday begins on January 31st which is Lunar New Year’s Eve since February 1st is the official Lunar New Year’s Day).
🗓️ This year will provide Taiwan with 6 days of a public holiday, which includes Lunar New Year’s Eve, (from January 31st to February 5th).
🗓️ However, the government has decided that the Saturday of January 22nd, 2022 is a make-up working day due to having Friday, February 5th as a public holiday in the Lunar New Year vacation.
What to expect on this event:
There will be no additional stalls will be set up and no sampling is allowed to reduce the risk of the Covid-19 infection.
However, at the center of the event is Dihua Street, which will offer a great variety of merchandise, including dried foods such as nuts and seafood, as well as snacks often associated with the Lunar New Year despite not hosting a grand street bazaar as in previous years.
Other highlights in the historic block of Dadaocheng, where Dihua Street is located, will include a huge auspicious tiger balloon installation symbolizing wealth, a paper lantern-making activity, and a street studio featuring live shows by Taiwan’s well-known podcasters in the largest podcaster mixer in the country, according to the organizer.
Shopee has a special section for the event, providing up to 40% discounts for CNY products from 60 businesses in the Dihua Street district and holding raffles with prizes totaling a value of NT$10 million (US$362,078). A live TV shopping show by ETMall will be held on Jan. 21 in the area, with Mayor Ko Wen-Je and Deputy Mayor Huang Shan-shan attending as special guests.
You can also visit the website of the 2022 Taipei Lunar New Year Festival to learn more.
Source: Taiwan News
6 traditions to do and see over the Lunar New Year:
1. Celebrate Lunar New Year’s Eve
The dinner on New Year’s Eve is for the family, and often the extended family. The dinner is prepared by the patriarch of the family, and bear in mind that the family coming to dinner can include uncles, aunts, grandparents, siblings, and extended family.
After dinner traditions are different, some go to temples to pray for good fortune, others gather around the Mahjong board to gamble with the money just received, and others fire fireworks.
On the days after New Year, you normally go to your wife’s family on days 2 and 3.
On day 4 you should stay at home doing as little as possible because it is an unlucky day!
2. Spring cleaning
So this might not be for everyone but cleaning is actually a big part of the Lunar New Year!
The day before Lunar New Year you should do a proper spring cleaning. It is the way that you can get ‘rid of the old and bring in the new’. You get rid of this year’s bad luck, bad sayings, and things – of course by saying properly goodbye and making space for your luck, and welcome the new year. You should get rid of clutter and physical items that obstruct your luck and happiness.
However, it is important to respect the correct timing for cleaning. It should only be done before Lunar New Year, as you can sweep away your luck if you do it during Lunar New Year.
3. Buy new clothes
Indeed you are permitted to go shopping – really! You have to go shopping!
It is in your family’s best interest. Representing the new beginning that comes at New Year, numerous Taiwanese like to welcome the new year with a new fancy outfit, or as a minimum red socks or underwear.
The New Year is a chance for a fresh start for everyone, and so many people choose to wear new clothes for the first few days of the holidays.
4. Red envelopes and whom to give
One tradition that many foreigners know of is the giving of red envelopes for the Lunar New Year in Taiwan. Some children wait with warm anticipation for Santa, but here in Taiwan children wait for the red envelopes. There is not really a tradition of giving physical gifts to family, but some business relations, friends, and neighbors could be offered a gift like cake, candy, or chocolate wrapped in red(as seen in 7-11 and other convenient stores).
The envelopes are to be seen as a gesture of goodwill, you should not look at the giving and receiving as a financial aim, but as an expression of a growing relationship. The red envelopes given to the raising parent and grandparents are given as a sign of appreciation and respect for the childhood the giver has been given. In some families, parents give red envelopes to their children until the day their children reach a certain age, start earning their own money, or get married. At that point the receivers become givers.
After the family dinner on Lunar New Year’s Eve, the elderly pass the red envelopes to the children(older children and adults also give their parents as a sign of respect and gratitude for the sacrifices they have made to bring them up.).
Good amounts to put in the envelopes: NTD$ 600, 800, 1000, 1200, 1600, 1800, 2000, 3600. Particularly good numbers are, 3800, 6000, and 8000. Just remember no amount with 4 and no 1.
As mentioned the dinner is for the extended family, therefore the receivers of the red envelopes, it can become a very profitable evening! The amount of money to give is important. Too little or too much will be an offense, and of course should never include a 4, as it is an unlucky number associated with death.
5. Play Mahjong
Gambling is not legal in Taiwan but on New Year’s evening, it is ok, in the comforting company of your friends and family.
For Lunar New Year in Taiwan, families gather around and play mahjong. Mahjong is for many families the game to play the tile-based game
If you always wanted to know how to play Mahjong but never had a chance to learn, then you’re already in luck! There is this group in Taipei that runs Mahjong events for all skill levels (even for complete beginners) called Mahjong Madness – Learn how to play with us, by Zero gravity Taipei.
If you’re interested, feel welcome to join any of their events so they can show you the ropes, and who knows, maybe you’ll find the Mahjong Master in you!
6. Let off some firecrackers!
Firecrackers are a must for all festive occasions in Taiwan, Lunar New Year is no exception.
Throughout the night the loud noise will be going on to scare off the beast “Nian”, bad karma, and evil spirits.
In some residential areas some frown upon the loud noise of firecrackers, but on this night you should venture into the night and explore your neighborhood to see the firecrackers. However keep in mind that setting off fireworks is not illegal, but not welcomed in certain areas.