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The Chinese New Year

The first day of every year is called new year for everyone, but the day of Chinese New Year is decided by the Lunar calander. Chinese New Year is the longest and most important festival in Taiwan. People includ paying off debts, purchasing new clothes, throughly cleaning the house, enjoying sumptuous family feasts, offering sacrifices to the gods, and giving friends and relativies "red envolopes" containing "luck money". Firecrackers explode throughout the night on new year's Eve and sporadically on the following days.
The Lantern Festival

The people of ancient China believed that the celestial spirits cloud be seen flying about in the light of the first full moon of the new launar year. Over time, their torchlit search for these spirits evolved into the Lantern festivsal, now celebrate in temples and parks with colorful lantern.

The Dragon Boat Festival

The legend behind the colorful Dragon Boat festival concerns a famous Chinese poet named Chu Yuan, who lived during the Warninring States period (403-221 B.C.) A loyal court offical, he was discredited by rivals and lost the trust of his king. Unable to regain the king's favor, the despondent poet drowned himself on the fifth day of the fifth lunar month in the year 277B.C. The common people who lived in the area respected the exiled offical so much that they jumped into their boats and rushed out to save Chu Yuan. The Annual Dragon Boat Festival commemorates this unsuccessful rescure attempt.

The Moon Festival

The moon festival or Mid-Autumn festival, on the 15th day of the eigth lunar month, observes the biggest and brightest full moon of the year, the harvest moon. The festival is a public holiday marked by family reunions, moon gazing, and eating moon cakes --round pastries stuffed with different things, such as red bean paste and an egg yolk, or fruits and preserves.

The birthday of Conficius

The birthday of Confucius ic celebrated with a dawn ceremony--parts of which date back nearly 3,000 years --at Confucius temples around the island. The fascinating ceremony includes a ritual dance, coustumes, music, and other rites.


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