Fri, Jan 20, 2006 - Page 13 News List

What's happening this Lunar New Year?

Puppet and Barbie doll shows in Kaohsiung, lantern displays and free gifts in Taipei. Taiwan has got it going on

By Derek Lee  /  STAFF REPORTER

Volunteers prepare lanterns.

PHOTO COURTESY OF CHIANG KAI-SHEK CULTURE CENTER

Beginning this weekend, Taiwan will start its Lunar New Year celebrations, in anticipation of the nine-day holiday that begins next Sunday (Jan. 29).

Taipei City Government is collaborating with the Chiang Kai-shek Culture Center and the Taiwan New Century Culture and Art Association to hold a series of cultural activities beginning tomorrow.

Over 1,100 hand-painted Chinese artistic lanterns will be displayed in the grounds of the Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall from tomorrow until Feb 19.

On the same site, over 1,000 elementary students from Taipei and other cities have been invited to assemble and brush-paint their own lanterns in a three-day event starting tomorrow, until Sunday.

The annual ritual of giving away free gifts, such as small lanterns and New Year couplets, will take place this Sunday, from 2pm to 4pm. As they say, the early bird catches the worm, so there's sure to be a long queue of people inside the Memorial Hall waiting for their New Year gifts.

Meanwhile, the Taipei Fine Arts Museum will sponsor the Mozart Film Festival from next Thursday (Jan. 26) to Feb 12, and will present films such as Magic Flute, Don Giovanni and Le Nozze di Figaro. The event is intended to combine the Lunar New Year celebrations with those for Amadeus Mozart's 250th anniversary, which falls next Friday (Jan. 27). Call (02) 2595 7656 for a show schedule.

In addition, the cultural bureau of the Taipei City Government is co-sponsoring with the Taipei Fine Arts Museum and the Sheraton Hotel Taipei a day-long, non-stop concert of Mozart's music from next Thursday morning (Jan. 26) until the early hours of the following morning.

A similar event will be held by the German Cultural Center Taipei, named "A Night of Mozart," next Friday evening (Jan. 27), from 6pm to 11pm. The event is free and will consist of two musical parts, as well as a theatrical one, in which two Austrian actresses will interpret excerpts from Mozart's letters to his cousin.

From next Sunday (Jan. 29) to Feb. 6, the Spring Folklore Art Festival in Taichung City will feature lion and dragon dances, Taiwan folklore music, jazz music and symphony orchestra concerts. All the events will be held at the Folklore Culture Park.

Also, the Taichung Traditional Art Festival is scheduled to begin Feb. 5 and continue to Feb. 12. Various cultural activities, including Taiwanese puppet shows, Taiwanese operas, Chinese music concerts and acrobats will be presented daily at the Taichung Park from 4pm to 9pm on the weekdays, and from 2pm to 9pm on the weekends.

Tainan County Government is aggressively promoting its "2006 World Candy Culture Festival" this year due to the success of last year's event which attracted more than 1 million visitors.

In its second year, County Commissioner Su Huan-chih (蘇煥智) has been pouring money into the event (around NT$120 million) in order to upgrade the facilities and improve traffic flow.

The festival, which will run from tomorrow until March 19, features Hello Kitty as an ambassador of the global village and shows off different candies from around the world.

Also, the Hello Kitty Troupe from Kyushiu, Japan is scheduled to perform during the Lunar New Year holidays, at the Xiao-long Culture Park (蕭壟文化園區). The entrance fee is NT$250 for adults and NT$200 for children. Admission tickets may be purchased in advance through 7-Eleven chain stores nationwide. Visit www.candyworld.com.tw for further information.

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