Taiwan: holidays, climate, national customs
There are a number of public holidays in Taiwan that do not have a fixed date but are based on the time of Easter.
Easter falls on the first Sunday following the first full moon after the beginning of spring.
Lent, which lasts 46 days, begins on Ash Wednesday and ends on Holy Saturday. ‘
Pentecost is 50 days after Easter. ‘
Corpus Christi is celebrated on the 2nd Thursday after Pentecost.
All Saints’ Day is celebrated for Orthodox Christians on the 1st Sunday after Pentecost, but for Catholic Christians the date is fixed on November 1st.
On October 31, Protestants celebrate Reformation Day.
The Halloween festival also takes place on this day.
|January 1||Founding day of the Republic of China|
|January February||Traditional chinese new year|
|January February||Lantern Festival|
|March||Kuan Yin birthday|
|March 29||Youth day|
|April 5||Ancestral Remembrance Day|
|April||Birthday of the goddess Matsu|
|June||Dragon Boat Festival|
|August||Chung Yuan Spirit Festival|
|August||Lovers’ Day (comparable to Valentine’s Day)|
|September||Autumn Festival (Moon Festival)|
|September 28||Birthday of Confucius|
|October 10||Revolution day|
|October 25||Reintegration day|
|October 31||Birthday of Sun YatSen (Chinese politician)|
|25 December||Constitution Day of the Republic of China|
Source: Countryaah – Taiwan Holidays
- The Lantern Festival is celebrated for 3 days on the first full moon of the new year with countless lanterns and lanterns. With huge lanterns in the form of animals and mythical creatures, people march through the streets and celebrate the heavenly spirits.
- The Dragon Boat Festival in June is a major boat race in several cities across the country. The traditional race dates back to the year 277 according to the Chinese lunar calendar and is very popular with spectators.
- The birthday of the sea goddess Matsu in April is celebrated with great solemnity in all Matsu temples. After all, it is one of the most important Chinese deities. The goddess is honored with performances, rituals and temples.
- The Festival of Folk Arts is celebrated in Lukang in June. In addition to the celebrations, all kinds of Taiwanese handicrafts are exhibited and offered for sale.
- The Chinese Food Festival is held in Taipei every August. On this occasion, the manners and customs of Chinese cuisine are presented in lectures and of course traditional dishes are also cooked.
- The seventh month in the Mbond calendar is celebrated as the “ghost month “. It is said that this month the spirits are allowed to rise from the underworld and populate the earth. In her honor, offerings are made, and ceremonies are held and celebrated.
- The moon festival is celebrated in the eighth month of the lunar calendar in honor of the so-called harvest moon. On this holiday, people come together to look at the moon and celebrate it.
- The birthday of Confucius is celebrated with ritual celebrations in all Confucius temples in the country.
- The Taiwanese National Day is celebrated in the capital Taipei with a parade and many demonstrations.
The idea of what is meant by a particularly favorable travel climate or weather depends on various factors and cannot be answered across the board. Pure culture travelers see the climate and weather very differently than people planning a bathing, diving or hiking holiday. The state of health and age can also play a role in experiencing the climate:
The following times of the year for a stay in Taiwan are particularly recommended for people who are hungry for the sun, who like to enjoy a lot of sun and for whom higher temperatures do not cause any problems: spring, summer and autumn.
For people who prefer temperate climates
People who prefer temperate climates and lower temperatures should better use the winter time to stay in Taiwan
The table lists the values averaged over many years. The current values can therefore deviate from them with a certain probability. But the larger the current deviation, the less often it occurs.
|month||Rainy days, typhoon times||mean maximum temperatures in (°C)||mean minimum temperatures in (°C)|
- The photographing of military facilities in Taiwan
- In Taiwan, dimensions and weights are not identical to the European system. Weights are measured in Chin (approx. 600 g) and Liang (approx. 38 g), large areas in Ping (approx. 1.8 km2).
- In Taiwan, many public holidays are based on the traditional Chinese lunar calendar.
- The year in Taiwan is calculated after the founding of the republic in 1911. 1911 was year 1, so 2007 is year 96.
- The so-called loss of face is very bad for the Chinese. This means that the Chinese always try to be polite in all situations, to help and never show anger. Smiling plays a special role in this. Even in uncomfortable situations, the Chinese always try to smile and never be loud or show emotions.
- The Betelnusskauen is an old tradition. When chewed, the betel nut forms a red juice that is spat out, saliva stimulates and is slightly intoxicating.
- Business cards are very important in everyday life and for all walks of life and professions. Not being able to hand over a business card means losing face.
- The Chinese astrology assigns each year to a certain zodiac signs, attributing the particular the vintage characteristics. The following animals belong to the zodiac sign: rat, buffalo, tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake, horse, sheep, monkey, rooster, dog and pig.
- Colors have a special meaning in Chinese culture. For example, red is the color of happiness, white stands for sadness and death, orange means prosperity.
- Presents and souvenirs are very important to the Chinese and are essential for invitations. The value of the gift depends on the relationship and the occasion.
- Gifts and business cards are always accepted with both hands and possibly even with a small bow.
- Chopsticks are placed over the eating bowl. Putting the chopsticks in the bowl is a sign of imminent death to the superstitious.
- The Chinese healing arts are based on a system of equilibrium within nature. Those who are sick are in an imbalance. Traditional Chinese medicine mainly uses natural remedies and acupuncture.
- The martial art Kung Fu has a very old tradition in Taiwan and is now also taught as a school sport.
- Chinese calligraphy is not just an illustration of Chinese characters, but has always been viewed as an art form and bought and collected as such.
- Abbreviationfinder.org: Presents the way that TW stands for the nation of Taiwan as a two-letter acronym.
UNESCO World Heritage Sites
At the moment there are no world heritage sites on Taiwan – probably also because of political pressure from China and since Taiwan is not a member of the UN. But the Taiwan government has submitted the following two landmarks to UNESCO as World Heritage Sites. Both sights are presented below.
- Taroko Gorge
- Mountain railway at Alishan
Cities worth seeing
Taipei is the official seat of government and the largest city of Taiwan.
It has around 2.8 million residents and is located in the north of the country.
The Japanese expanded Taipei village into a city in the 1920s due to its proximity to Kee Lung Harbor. In the following decades Taipei developed into an economic and cultural metropolis. But despite the cosmopolitan and modernity, Taipei still has the charm of traditional Taiwan.
is the second largest city in Taiwan and is located in the southwest of the island. Administratively, the city is treated like a province. Kao Hsiung owns one of the largest ports in the world, which also ranks fourth in freight container handling.
is the third largest city in Taiwan and is located on the west coast. The city is one of the most important economic areas in Taiwan. A large industrial center is located on the outskirts of TaiChung.
The Taipei Tower in the capital of Taiwan is one of the tallest buildings in the world with a height of 508 m. The high-rise has 101 floors. The house is reminiscent of a huge bamboo tube. A gold-plated ball on the top floor is supposed to balance out the fluctuations. In addition to offices, the building also houses restaurants and bars as well as numerous shops.
The Mitsukoshi Tower in Taipei is one of the tallest buildings in the world. It is a huge modern office and department store building.
From the viewing platform you have an indescribable view of the city.
Kao Hsiung Cultural Center The Kao Hsiung
Cultural Center hosts daily concerts, plays, and operas. There is also a gallery in the building.
Former British Consulate
The former British Consulate on the coast of KaoHsiung is an imposing building. It was built by the English in 1866. Today it houses an exhibition on the history of the city.
On the foundations of the Dutch Fort Providentia in Tai Nan, the Wen Chang Hall and the HaiShen Temple were built in the 1880s. Both buildings are excellent examples of ancient Chinese architecture. Historical objects and ship models are exhibited in the halls today.
Grand Hotel in Taipei
The Grand Hotel in Taipei is one of the landmarks of the city and the country. The hotel, which opened in 1952, was constantly expanded and remodeled and was only considered completed in 1973. The building appears in the classical style of the old Chinese palaces. It is 87 m high and has 14 floors. This 5-star hotel partially burned down in 1995 and was only reopened in 1998.
Hung Mao Cheng
Hung Mao Cheng, also known as Fort San Domingo, in northern Taiwan was built by the Spanish in 1629 as a defense structure. The fort was occupied by the Chinese and the English after the Spanish. Today a museum has been set up there.
Xueshan motorway tunnel
This 13 km long motorway tunnel has been crossing under the north-eastern part of the mountain range of the same name since 2006. The tunnel is the longest tunnel in Taiwan.
National Palace Museum
The National Palace Museum at the foot of a wooded hill on the edge of Taipei is the symbol of Taiwan.
In the huge building adorned with turrets, which was built in Chinese style, there are around 700,000 exhibits from the former Forbidden City in Beijing. The objects date from a period of around 1,000 years. 15,000 objects are exhibited at the same time in the museum. The exhibits change every three months.
Museum The Chang Foundation Museum in Taipei has a collection of ancient Chinese objects such as jade figures, statuettes and porcelain. The collection dates from the Han Dynasty of 206 BC. BC to AD 211 to the Ching Dynasty from 1644 to 1911. Next to the museum there is a library and a bonsai garden.
The Taipei Postal Museum opened in 1966 and shows the history of Taiwan’s postal service. There is an exhibition of rare Chinese and international postage stamps on the upper floor of the museum.
Museum of Fine Arts
The Museum of Fine Arts in Taipei is the largest museum in Taiwan. There, modern national and international art is shown in changing exhibitions.
Wen Hua Chung Hsin Cultural Center The Wen Hua Chung Hsin
Cultural Center in Tai Chung hosts concerts, exhibitions, theater and opera. MeiShuKuan is Tai Chung’s municipal art museum. There are changing exhibitions of modern national and international art.
Museum of Natural Sciences
The Museum of Natural Sciences in Tai Chung informs its visitors about the prehistory and early history up to the modern of Taiwan as well as botany, zoology, the history of technology, marine biology and medicine. The exhibition is very clear and interactive.
Opera and theater
National Theater and National Opera House
Located near the Chiang Kai-shek Memorial, these two excellent places for performances by Taiwanese drama and dance groups are located. In addition to these representations, there are also many international appearances. The architecture is neo-classical and the floodlit building is particularly impressive at night.
Red House Theater
The building was designed as a market building by the Japanese architect Kondo Juro in 1908 during the Japanese occupation. But since 1945 it has been used as a theater. The theater is a popular meeting place for the gay scene and the venue for the annual gay New Year’s Eve countdown 10 Chengdu Road
Chang Kai Shek Memorial Hall
The Chang Kai Shek Memorial Hall (CKS Memorial Hall for short) in Taipei was opened in 1980 in honor of the former President Chang Kai Shek. The building has a huge white substructure and a deep blue roof. Inside is a 16 m bronze statue by Chiang.
A museum is located in the basement. The associated park is 250,000 km² in size.
Sun Yat Sen Memorial Hall
The Sun Yat Sen Memorial Hall in Taipei was built from 1965 to 1972 in honor of state founder Suns. In the memorial hall there is a 25 m high bronze statue of the politician. In addition to the simple hall there is a library and a museum.
Taiwan has numerous well-equipped universities. Some should be presented.
National Cheng Kung University
The National Cheng Kung University was founded in January 1931 by the Japanese rulers in the city of Tainan under the name “Tainan Technical College”.
Approximately 22,000 students are currently studying at this university.
The university has the following faculties:
- Computer science
- Natural sciences
- Social sciences
The Asian University was founded in 2001 in Wufong. At the moment there are around 12,000 students studying at this private university in the following faculties:
- Computer science
Chaoyang Technical University Chaoyang
Technical University was founded in 1994 in Wufeng. There are currently around 14,000 students studying at this university in the following faculties:
- Computer science
- Natural sciences
- Social sciences
Temples and monasteries
Hsia Hai Cheng Huang Miao
The temple of Hsia Hai Cheng Huang Miao is a small but important temple of the god Hsia Hai. Ceremonies, rituals and processions take place continuously in the temple and is considered one of the most active in Taiwan.
PiShan YanKai ChangShengMiao
The Taoist monastery PiShan YanKai ChangShengMiao is located on a mountain on the edge of Taipei and offers a very nice view over the city.
Chih Nan Kung
The temple complex ChihNanKung in the south of Taipei combines a small Taoist shrine and the Buddhist monastery ChihNan. The central hall of the Buddhist monastery is crowned by an imposing dome and has two floors. It is adorned with numerous animal and Buddha images.
Lung Shan Temple
The Lung Shan Temple in Taipei was built in 1738 and is one of the most popular and most visited in the city. Inside the temple there are many statues of deities.
Hsing Tien Kung
The HsingTienKung temple complex in Taipei is dedicated to the Taoist god of war KuanKung. It was built in the 19th century.
Temple Complex Pao AnKung
The huge temple complex PaoAnKung in Taipei was built in the 18th and 19th centuries. It has the typical Chinese double roof and shows Buddhist and Taoist features. The temple complex consists of a vestibule, a main hall and a hall behind the main hall and has two floors.
Kung Tzi Miao
The Kung Tzi Miao Confucius Temple in Taipei is surrounded by an inner wall and a large wall around a garden. The actual temple consists of a main hall in which the unadorned Confucius Shrine is located.
Tung Chia Si
The Buddhist complex Tung ChiaSi in HuaLien consists of a beautifully landscaped garden, a main temple, an urn niche, accommodation for monks and a seven-story pagoda. From the top floor of the pagoda you have a beautiful view of the city and the surrounding area.
Lung Feng FoKung
The Lung Feng FoKung (Dragon and Phoenix Temple) in TaiTung is a Buddhist sanctuary. The temple consists of two floors. The interior of the building is decorated with scenes from the life of the historical Buddha.
San Feng Tang
The San Feng Tang temple complex in Kao Hsiung dates back to the 17th century. The style of the huge temple is a mixture of Buddhism, Taoism and the cult of gods. The bell towers and drum towers of the temple are adorned with luminous memorial boxes.
Yuan Heng Si
The Buddhist monastery Yuan Heng Si in Kao Hsiung is one of the most important and largest monasteries in Taiwan. The main hall is made of marble and houses three large Buddha statues in the middle and approx. 5,000 gilded small Buddha statues on the inner walls. Outside the hall there are large copper panels that show scenes from the historical life of Buddha. Next to the main hall there is accommodation for monks on the left and a library on the right.
Kung Tzu Miao Temple
The Kung Tzu Miao Temple in Kao Hsiung is a faithful replica of the Confucius Temple in ChuFu, the birthplace of Confucius in the People’s Republic of China. The main shrine is adorned with gold-colored calligraphy painted with flowers. The ceiling is decorated with tiles and dragon patterns.
Chin Shih Huang Ti Pavilion In
front of the Chin Shih Huang Ti Pavilion in KaoHsiung is a 20 m high, colorful figure of Chin-Shih-Huang Ti, who was born in 221 BC. The individual states of China united.
Nan Ching Kung
The Indo-Buddhist temples Nan Ching Kung united in Ping Tung in to the Chinese to the Indian temple architecture. The interior of the temple is equipped with innumerable small niches in which there are porcelain Buddhas. The main shrine is adorned with a 7 m tall Buddha figure with two of his students.
Fo Kuang Shan
The Fo Kuang Shan Monastery (Buddha Shine Mountain) near KaoHsiung is the most important Buddhist complex in Taiwan and one of the most important Buddhist centers on earth. A 30 m tall golden Buddha statue adorns the mountain. Hundreds of smaller golden Buddha statues line the way to the large statue. Next to the entrance gate to the temple there are numerous blue stupas, memorials for the deceased from the surrounding area. In a Buddhist museum you can find out about the different forms of representation of Buddha statues. In the main shrine of the monastery there are tens of thousands of Buddhas of different sizes on the walls as well as three large Buddha statues in different postures. The Taoist temple complex YuLiKung in TaiNan is used by locals for various rituals. Numerous shrines adorn the temple.
Szu Tian Wu Miao
The temple complex Szu Tian Wu Miao in TaiNan was built in the 17th century and is divided into a main hall, a prayer yard as well as a Confucian and a Buddhist hall. The temple has been a special place of sacrifice since 1727.
Ma Tzu Temple
The Ma Tzu Temple in PeiKang is dedicated to the sea goddess Ma Tzu. A large festival is held there every year, which is one of the most important in Taiwan. A first shrine was located on the site in the 14th century, but nothing can be seen of it today. The MaTzu Temple is one of the richest Taoist shrines.
Pao Hsue Si
The Buddhist complex Pao Hsue Si in Tai Chung is crowned by a 30 m tall smiling Buddha.
Alishan Mountain Railway, Miniature Park
Hsiao Ren Kuo
Hsiao Ren Kuo near Taipei is a miniature park. There you can see buildings and landscapes on a scale of 1:25.
Mountain Railway The route of this approximately 72 km long narrow-gauge mountain railway (762 mm) leads from Chiayi to Mount Alishan (2,930 m) and is of breathtaking beauty. The route laid out by the Japanese from 1912 to transport valuable wood from the Alishan forests is particularly worth seeing because of its route through difficult terrain. The train rises from approx. 30 m above sea level to approx. 2,275 m, whereby the train sometimes has to zigzag because of the steepness. On the route, the train goes through 49 tunnels and crosses 77 bridges. The train only runs once a day. The train is not driven by self-pulling or gear wheels but is a “normal” adhesion train, like most railways worldwide. Information on this and other questions can be found at:
Office for Tourism
Ministry for Transport and Traffic
Republic of China
Tel: +49 – (0) 69 – 61 07 43
eMail: [email protected]
Taiwan has a total of eight national parks. One of the parks, Dongsha Marine National Park, is a marine park.
Dongsha Marine National Park
This national park is a marine park with an area of 3,537 km². Like the Kinmen National Park, it is not located on or on Taiwan, but on the island of the same name.
Kenting National Park
Kenting National Park – located on the southern tip of Taiwan – covers an area of 326 km², of which 177 km² is land and 149 km² is ocean. The park is surrounded by the Pacific Ocean to the east, the Bashi Canal to the south and the Taiwan Strait to the west. It is the oldest national park in Taiwan. The park impresses with its tropical coral reefs and tropical rainforests.
Kinmen National Park
The national park, founded in 1995, has an area of around 38 km². The national park is not located on the island of Taiwan, but on the island of the same name off the Chinese coast. The park is known for its wetlands and traditional Fujian buildings, the origins of which go back to the Ming Dynasty. A number of fortifications were built here to ward off pirates. And during the clashes between the communists and the “national Chinese” there was some fighting here.
Shei Pa National Park
Shei Pa National Park covers an area of 768 km². In the national park, the peaks of the 3,886 m high Hsuehshan (Xueshan) and the 3,490 m high Dabajianshan are impressive. The park is partially covered by jungle.
The national park is located around km southeast of the city of Hsinchu.
Taijiang National Park
The Taijiang National Park covers an area of 393 km² – 49 km² of which is land and 344 km² is water. This newest national park of Taiwan is located in the southwest of Taiwan. You will find a great variability of marine life with many different fish species.
Taroko National Park
The approximately 920 km² large park has existed since 1996 and is particularly known and popular because of the 19 km long Taroko Gorge.
For many millions of years, erosion on the Liwu River had created steep cliffs several hundred meters high. A worldwide unique natural phenomenon.
The highest mountain in the national park is Mount Nanhu with a height of 3,742 m.
The largest part of the national park consists of undisturbed wilderness and natural regions in which numerous different animal species have their home – such as the Taiwanese black bear, the blue Formosa magpie (Urocissa caerulea) and various amphibian species. In addition, butterfly lovers will find over 300 different species of butterflies here. You can explore the park on foot or with a motorized vehicle.
Besides nature, you will also find temples and pavilions here. Pedestrians can enjoy hanging bridges that lead visitors to temples or viewing platforms.
A visit to the “Tunnel of Nine Turns” or the “Eternal Spring Shrine” should not be forgotten
Yangmingshan National Park
YangMingShan National Park covers an area of 115 km². The hot steaming springs in the park are particularly interesting. Bird and butterflies lovers get their money’s worth here.
The park also impresses with numerous waterfalls, small lakes, terraced rice fields and volcanic craters. The blossoming cherry trees and azaleas are a special attraction in spring. The highest mountain in the park is Mount Chihsing, 1,120 m high. It is also worth mentioning the 1,081 m high summit of Mount Tatun.
The national park is about km north of Taipei.
Yushan National Park
Yushan National Park was established in 1985 and covers an area of 1,054 km², making it the largest national park in Taiwan.
The park is home to Taiwan’s highest mountain, the 3,952 m high Yu Shan (Jade Mountain).
Other natural beauties, zoo
The Alishan Forest Railway is a narrow-gauge railway with a gauge of 762 mm from the village of Chiayi in western Taiwan to the “holy mountain” Alishan at around 2,275 m. This route has a length of around 72 km. The railway was originally built during the Japanese occupation (1895-1945) from 1912 to transport sequoias that were transported from the mountain to the valley in order to be shipped from here to Japan. Today the train to the mountain is a pure tourist train, which is very popular.
Safari and Adventure Park Leo Foo Le Yuan
The Safari and Adventure Park Leo Foo Le Yuan near Taipei is a huge open-air enclosure for large African animals. You can take a tour of the enclosures for 30 minutes in a tour bus. The Sun-Moon-Lake is located on a plateau between the northern and central mountains. The lake is the largest in Taiwan and a popular destination.
Sung Shan Lu Park
Sung Shan Lu Park is a recreational park on the hills east of Taipei. From there you have a good view of the city.
Yang Ming Shan
Park Yang Ming Shan Park near Taipei is a very popular recreation area for Taiwanese and tourists alike. There are numerous hot springs in the area that have been converted into baths.
Waterfalls Wu Feng Chi PuPu
The waterfalls Wu Feng Chi PuPu near ChiaoChi plunge about 30 m into the depth and are a popular attraction. The PengLai waterfalls at Mount Alishan plunge around 100 m into the valley and offer an impressive natural spectacle.
The Taipei Zoo is located in the south of the city and is a large, well-kept area with species that are rarely seen in Europe.