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Events & Festivals 2000

Chinese New Year (February 5)
The Chinese or Lunar New Year is the longest and most important festival in Taiwan. During this time, the usual custom would include paying off debts, purchasing new clothes, cleaning the house, enjoying sumptuous family feasts, offering sacrifices to the gods, and giving friends and relatives "red envelopes" (ang pau) containing "lucky money." You'll hear firecrackers throughout the night on New Year's Eve and on the following days.

Lantern Festival (February 19)
The Lantern Festival came about when the people of ancient China first believed that celestial spirits could be seen flying about in the light of the first full moon of the new lunar year. Their search using torches evolved into the current celebrations of colorful lanterns at temples and parks. Children of the past were given lanterns to carry on the school day of the New Year to symbolize the hope of a bright future for the child. In modern Taiwan, small children carry lanterns and roam the streets on the eve of the festival.

Tomb Sweeping Day (April 5)
Since ancient times, a day has been designated for sweeping the tombs and honoring the ancestors. Ancestor worship is usually performed on the first few days prior to or following Ching Ming.

Dragon Boat Festival (June 6)
Many people attended the festive boat races in Taipei, Lukang, Taiwan and Kaohsiung, with teams coming from all over the world. Boat races during the Dragon Boat Festival is to commemorate the rescue attempt of Chu Yuan, a patriotic poet, who drowned on the fifth day of the fifth lunar month in 277BC. When the attempt to rescue him failed, the people had to throw bamboo stuffed with cooked rice into the water so that the fish would eat the rice and not his body. From that, it evolves to the present day custom of eating tzungtzu, a kind of rice dumplings filled with ham or bean paste and wrapped in bamboo leaves.

Ghost Festival (August 14)
It was said that on the first day of the seventh lunar month, known as Ghost Month, the gates of Hell would open wide and the spirits are allowed a month of feasting and revelry in the world of the living. To ensure that the ghosts enjoy a pleasant vacation, lavish sacrifices are set out, sacrifices paper money is burned, and Taiwanese operas are performed.

Mid-Autumn Festival (September 12)
Autumn Moon Festival falls in the middle of the eighth lunar Chinese month when the moon is supposed to be at its fullest. With a ripe, round moon considered a symbol of happiness, the national holiday is also a time for family reunions.

Double Ninth Day (October 6)
It is no wonder why the Double Ninth Day was named thus as it falls on the ninth day of the ninth lunar month. The day is also known as Chung Yang or Double Yang Festival for the Chinese custom recognize "nine" as a number belonging to the positive principle "yang". On that day, activities such as hill climbing, drinking chrysanthemum wine, hanging dogwood sprays, and other customs dating back to the Han Dynasty story of Huan Ching and Fei Chang-fang were put to practiced. The Taiwanese have also enriched their holiday with kite flying, an up and coming custom.

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