The Essence of Lunar New Year Celebrations

Lantern Festival 2024 台灣燈會在台南

Feb 24 – March 10
The 2024 Taiwan Lantern Festival will be held in Tainan, in conjunction with Tainan 400. Since 1624, Tainan has been a city where diverse ethnicities have mingled and learned from each other. Their shared journey has shaped not only this historic capital, but also the very cultural identity of Taiwan, a legacy that is cherished today.

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by Pia Munk-Janson

The Lunar New Year in Taipei is a kaleidoscope of traditions, deeply rooted in family values and cultural practices. This festive season offers a unique glimpse into the rich tapestry of Taiwanese culture, especially for foreigners living in the city. For expatriates, engaging in local activities can deepen their understanding of these traditions.

Reunion Dinners: A Feast of Togetherness

The reunion dinner on Lunar New Year’s Eve is the centerpiece of the celebrations. It’s a time when families gather around the table, sharing a meal that is both a culinary delight and a symbol of unity.

  • Dishes with Meaning: Each dish served has a special significance. A whole fish, symbolizing surplus and abundance, is a staple. Dumplings, resembling ancient gold ingots, signify wealth, while sweet rice balls or ‘tangyuan’ represent family togetherness.
  • Setting and Atmosphere: The setting is equally important, often featuring a round table to symbolize wholeness and unity. Red decorations and tableware add to the festive mood, enhancing the sense of auspiciousness.

This article is part of a foreigners’ guide to celebrating the Lunar New Year in Taipei. Read more on The Center website.

Lunar New Year Traditions

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