|Lunisolar calendar||Lunar calendar||Name||Public holiday|
|January 1st||X||International New Year||O|
|January 23rd – 29th||from the first to the fifth day of the first month|
(including 2 days before the first day of the first month)
|Lunar New Year||O|
|February 8th||fifteenth day of the first month||Lantern Festival||X|
|February 28th||X||228 Peace Memorial Day||O|
|April 4th||X||Children’s Day||O|
|April 5th||X||Tomb Sweeping Festival||O|
|May 1st||X||Labor Day||O|
|May 10th||X||Mother’s Day||X|
|June 25th||fifth day of the fifth month||Dragon Boat Festival||O|
|August 8th||X||Father’s Day||X|
|August 25th||seventh day of the seventh month||Chinese Valentine’s Day||X|
|September 2nd||fifteenth day of the seventh month||Hungry Ghost Festival||X|
|September 28th||X||Teachers’ Day||X|
|October 1st||fifteenth day of the eighth month||Mid-Autumn Festival||O|
|October 10th||X||National Day||O|
|October 25th||X||Taiwan’s Retrocession Day||X|
|December 25th||X||Constitution Day||X|
International New Year
Same as the rest of the world, Taiwanese celebrate Western new year mostly with new year’s eve fireworks and flag-raising ceremony. It is one of the best attractions in Taipei.
Lunar New Year
Lunar New Year, also known as the Spring Festival, is celebrated from the first to the fifth day of the first month of the lunar calendar. Literally, Taiwanese people refer to this festival as “passing the year,” which means shooing out the old and welcoming the new. The concept of “Keeping of the Year,” which is staying up on New Year’s Eve.
Lunar New Year activities include greetings on the 1st day, visiting the wife’s family on the 2nd day, welcoming the God of Wealth on the 4th day, and reopening business on the 5th day.
(About how to give envelope? To give red envelope or not to give, that is a long story.)
Lantern Festival, also called “Yuan Xiao Jie” in Mandarin (“Jie” means “festival”). (What is Yuan Xiao? Top 5 Ways to Taste Yuanxiao)
The holiday marks the first full moon of the new lunar year and the grand finale of the Lunar New Year celebrations. The Lantern Festival is celebrated throughout Taiwan, there will be a main lantern based on the zodiac of the year.
One of the most famous activity “Pingxi Sky Lantern Festival” is held in Pingxi, a small village that’s known for its sky lanterns.
How to join this event? You can order a Sky Lantern Tour here !
Or you prefer releasing sustainable sky lantern? Reserve your spot here !
228 Peace Memorial Day
On February 27, when agents from the Tobacco Monopoly Bureau confiscated a cigarette vendor’s illegal cigarettes and her money, then beat her over the head with a pistol while attempting to arrest her. A large crowd swarmed the agents, arousing one to open fire on the crowd, one person killed. It caused mass protests the next day—February 28.
The 228 Incident led to a popular uprising met by a violent three-month crackdown. 18,000 to 28,000 Taiwanese were estimated to be killed – although this number may be higher – and brought about the 38-year, 57-day period of martial law in Taiwan known as the White Terror.
(What happened? Taiwan’s White Terror: Remembering the 228 Incident)
In Taiwan, Children’s Day is celebrated on April 4 since 1931. Children’s Day is a public holiday in Taiwan, and on it, schools will often hold special activities.
Tomb Sweeping Festival
Tomb Sweeping Festival, also called “Qingming Jie” in Mandarin. The celebration of Tomb-Sweeping Day and ancestor worship dates back nearly 2,500 years in Chinese culture.
Traditionally, the day to honour ancestors is celebrated on the first day of the fifth solar term according to the lunisolar calendar. In Taiwan, however, the official public holiday of “Qingming Jie” is always celebrated on April 5 to honour the memory of the late Chiang Kai-shek.
In Taiwan, Mother’s Day is celebrated on the second Sunday of May, coinciding with Buddha’s birthday and the traditional ceremony of “washing the Buddha.” In 1999, the Taiwanese government set up the second Sunday of May as Buddha’s birthday, so the Buddha’s party and Mother’s Day celebrated on the same day.
Speaking of Buddha, wanna try Zen Meditation? Click here !
Dragon Boat Festival
Dragon Boat Festival, or “Duan Wu Jie” in Mandarin, falls on the fifth day of the fifth month of the lunar calendar. For year 2020, it’s on June 25. It is celebrated in Taiwan, Singapore, China, Malaysia, Hong Kong and Macau.
2020 Hualien Pacific International Dragon Boat Festival has rescheduled to November 20~22, 2020. Order your Taroko Tribal Tour here !
In Taiwan, Father’s Day is not a public holiday. People celebrate Father’s Day on August 8, because two numbers “eight eight” sounds like the word for “father” in Mandarin.
While Valentine’s Day is on February 14th in other parts of the world, Taiwan also celebrates different version during the Qixi Festival. Sometimes referred to as the Chinese Valentine’s Day, Qixi Festival takes place on the 7th day of the 7th lunar month, which falls on August 25th this year.
A legendary romantic tale that has endured for thousands of years. The star-crossed lovers from the Qixi Festival – Niulang, whose name means “cowherd”, and Zhinu, or “weaver girl”, and how they fell in love but were banned from seeing each because of opposition from the girl’s family.
Hungry Ghost Festival
Ghost Month is celebrated during the seventh lunar month in Taiwan, based on both religion of Daoism and Buddhism. It is believed the gates of hell are open throughout the Hungry Ghost Month. One of the highlights of Ghost Month is the Hungry Ghost Festival. Ghosts are offered multiple varieties of meats, fruits and vegetables.
Taiwan Teachers’ Day is recognized on September 28th, but it is no longer a holiday. This day is the birth date of the great Chinese philosopher and teacher, Confucius. Confucius is considered the embodiment of the Chinese moral, family, and education philosophy. In Taiwan, and most of Asia today, there is a strong belief in the importance of family and education.
Click here to visit Confucius in Taiwan temples!
The Mid-Autumn Festival (called Moon Festival as well) falls on the 15th day of the 8th lunar month and has been celebrated for over 3000 years. The moon looks exceptionally round and bright on every 15th day of lunar month.
In Taiwan, when people talk about Moon Festival, the first thing come into their mind is barbecue instead of mooncake or pomelo.
The soy sauce advertisements of the two major manufacturers have been launched intensively during the Moon Festival for several years, gradually leading the trend of “Moon Festival barbecue”.
Make your own cake here!
National Day of Taiwan, also known as “Double Tenth Day”, is to commemorate a significant event that led “Republic of China” (official name of Taiwan) formation is the Wuchang Uprising which commenced on the 10th of October, 1911. A milestone of China’s politics development and a new chapter in the history of the Chinese which led to the collapse of the Qing Dynasty under the leadership of Sun Yat-Sen.
Taiwan’s Retrocession Day
Retrocession Day is the name given to commemorate the end of Japanese rule of Taiwan and Penghu. The Kuomingtang’s claimed “retrocession” (return) of Taiwan to the Republic of China (then the recognized government of “China”) on 25 October 1945. However, the idea of “Taiwan retrocession” is in dispute.
Constitution Day in Taiwan is celebrated on December 25. It marks the adoption of the Constitution of the Republic of China (Taiwan) in 1946. It is no surprise that Chiang Kai-shek picked a date of importance to him since he is a Christian. Over the years, Taiwan’s Constitution Day has lost its significance, many people celebrate Christmas instead.
(Read More: Christmas or Constitution Day in Taiwan?)