It’s hard to believe that it’s almost the holiday season in Taiwan with the lack of holiday decorations and festivities, and not to mention, the relatively warm weather we have still been experiencing.
As if to jolt us from the lack of holiday spirit, New Taipei City’s Banciao district will be lit up by a 36m tall LED Christmas tree to commemorate the start of the 51-day-long holiday fiesta known as Christmasland. Held for the fourth year in a row, the lighting of the macaroon-colored, digitally-lit tree not only marks the beginning of the holiday season, but it also highlights how New Taipei City has come a long way from being a sleepy coal mining-fishing town to a modern and thriving tourist hub.
The festivities kick off tomorrow at 5:30pm with a performance by Taiwanese American singer Peter Ho(何潤東), followed by a speech from the New Taipei City mayor Eric Chu (朱立倫), and finally, the lighting of the tree and an accompanying light show. Freebies will also be handed out to a few lucky visitors present at the lighting.
Photo Courtesy of New Taipei City Travel Department
Further activities and events are scheduled to take place at Christmasland, which will remain open to the public until Jan. 4. These include carousel rides and a Ferris wheel for the young and young at heart, as well as a Christmas parade on Dec. 13. The number of visitors to last year’s Christmasland was close to 2.5milllion according the Travel Department at New Taipei City, so holiday-goers this year can be assured that it will be a joyous celebration, to say the least.
Sophia Chen (陳靜芳), the section chief of the planning division of New Taipei City’s Travel Department told the Taipei Times that “there will be something for each age group at the Christmas tree lighting — carousel rides for the children, a pop-star performance for the teenagers and romantic Christmas lights for grown-ups.”
On the Net: www.2014christmas.tw.
This year’s Kuandu Arts Festival (關渡藝術節), which opened on Sept. 23 and runs through Nov. 29, is focused on music. Under the theme “Joy of Music,” a nod to the 250th birthday of Ludwig van Beethoven, the program features performances by seven symphony orchestras as well as several Taipei National University of the Arts (TNUA, 國立臺北藝術大學) student and faculty shows, in addition to the annual film and animation festivals. However, there is still room for other performing arts, and two productions this weekend and next at the university in the hills of Taipei’s Guandu area (關渡) feature students from the
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