From religion to ancient traditions, each and every occasion strikes a good reflection of Taiwan’s colourful culture
Pingxi Sky Lantern Festival
When: Early February
Held in the remote hillside town of Pingxi, the Sky Lantern Festival remains one of the most colourful activities around. An annual affair, the event attracts visitors from around the globe, all of whom make the trek to Pingxi to have their wishes written on sky lanterns before realising them to the skies.
Bombing of Master Han Dan
When: 15th day of the Lunar New Year
Ranked as one of the highlight events in Taiwan, this traditional festival originated from the custom of welcoming the wealth god, Master Han Dan during the Lunar New Year. Held in Taitung City, the festival encompasses a divine procession prepare where offerings of fresh flowers and fruit are given and strings of firecrackers are lit to welcome the Master Han Dan in order to obtain his blessing and good fortune.
Dajia Mazu Pilgrimage
When: Early April
The homage to Mazu, Goddess of the Sea takes place in several places around Taiwan but one of the largest celebrations takes place at Dajia’s Zhenlan Temple in Taichung City. The pilgrimage takes place during the third month of the Chinese lunar calendar and includes all forms of festive celebrations suich as puppet and theatre performances float parades as well as dragon and lion dances.
Songjiang Battle Array
When: Mid March
Held in Neimen, Kaohsiung, the battle array is a martial arts performance that dates back to the early Qing Dynasty. Performed by skilled members of ceremonial and performance troupes, the Songjiang Zhen battle array preserves the heritage and martial arts skills of Taiwan's once feared warriors.
Taiwan Lantern Festival
When: Mid February
One of the more modern festivals but hugely popular nonetheless, the Taiwan Lantern Festival, held in Taipei has single-handedly raised the international profile of cultural attractions of the country. Traditionally, the festival involved participants carrying hand lanterns but these days, the festival has added a high-tech element with colourful light show displays as well as folk arts and performances.