The most famous festivals in Taiwan is Lunar New Year, allowing people to take vacations from their work or school during this period. It is like Thanksgiving day that people would get together with their families. Traditionally, families would cook the new year’s foods and prepare snacks after finishing the meals. It takes a lot of time and energy to prepare these cuisines and normally these foods taste differently than other foods in night markets. Some people would eat fish and sweet sticky rice cakes to symbol the good fortune for the new year. Besides, the lunar new year is the time that we clean our houses entirely and paste some spring couplets on two sides of the front door. Kids will receive red envelopes from relatives so they could have their own money.
The Lantern Festival is commonly known as little new year. We eat glutinous rice balls as desserts with different flavors. There are sesame, peanut, and red bean flavors sold in supermarkets or traditional markets. Some people would guess lantern riddles and release their lanterns into the sky. Some may choose to join Yan-shui Beehive Firecrackers Festival to see the deity tours the town in his sedan chair.
Anther common festival is Mid-Autumn Festival. People in Asia such as Japan, Vietnam, Korea, etc. would celebrate the festival during this period of time with different customs and names. In old days, people ate moon cakes and pomelos to celebrate. Now, young people like to eat barbecue at restaurants or cook by themselves in front of yards or some public places.
Other festivals like Hakka Cultural Activities, including Tung Blossom festival and National Yimin Festival are celebrated national wide to memorize the bravery of against invaders. There are 16 different groups among Aboriginal people recognized by Taiwan government. They have their own traditional cloths, food styles, festivals and are believed to related with Southern East Asian.
So, if you visit Taiwan, please try as much as you can to experience local festivals. Although some events may be held by the specific ethnic groups, you are all welcome to join.