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Celebrate the Chinese New Year in Taiwan with the 24th annual Lantern Festival

30th January 2014 Print

Taiwan is currently preparing for a month of exciting celebrations ahead of Chinese New Year, the country’s most important and widely celebrated festival. This year, Chinese New Year falls on January 31st, and the celebrations will continue until the 23rd February when Taiwan hosts the annual Lantern Festival to welcome the Year of the Horse. The festival takes place from 14th-23rd February 2014 and is celebrated with a wonderful display of glittering lanterns.

Taiwan’s largest festival, the Lantern Festival, is held annually on the first full moon of the lunar calendar – this year, February 14th February. This event forms the final celebrations of the traditional Chinese New Year and the two-week long festival is celebrated throughout the country with towns and villages putting on stunning displays of decorative lanterns depicting birds, beasts and historical figures.

The main festival is held in a different region every year, with the 2014 event being held in the city of Zhongxing in the Nantou County, known as the heart of Taiwan as it is the only landlocked county on the island. Home to Taiwan\'s highest peak, Yushan (Mt. Jade), and 41 other mountains, the Nantou County is bathed in a stunning expanse of green. Taiwan\'s longest river, the Zhuoshui River, winds its way through the county, and the island\'s most beautiful lake, Sun Moon Lake, completes the scenic tapestry.

The lanterns at the 2014 festival will also be celebrating the symbol of the year’s Chinese Zodiac, the horse. The spirit of the horse is recognized to be energetic, bright, warm-hearted, intelligent and able. Also known as the Spring Festival, Chinese New Year is celebrated from the first to the fifth day of the first month of the Chinese lunar calendar with a number of customs and traditions. On Chinese New Year\'s Eve for example, families complete their spring cleaning, signifying the sweeping away of the misfortunes of the previous year. Adults will also give the younger members of the family, particularly children, red envelopes with money inside as a sign of peace and good fortune. Fire crackers are later set off to welcome the arrival of the New Year.

Chinese New Year is an excellent time to visit Taiwan and tour operators such as Audley Travel and Cox and Kings can put together tailor-made itineraries including a visit to the Lantern Festival on February 14th – 23rd February.

For further information on Taiwan, visit