On Wednesday night people all around Taiwan will be putting their woes — financial and otherwise — behind them and counting down to the beginning of a New Year. Wherever you are around the country, there is a party somewhere near you, where the traditional entertainments of music and fireworks will be on hand to liven up the hours as the clock ticks down to midnight.
The biggest event will probably be the gathering in front of the Taipei City Government building at 1 Shifu Rd, Taipei City (台北市市府路1號), where hosts Hu Gua (胡瓜) and Pauline Lan (藍心湄) will start warming up the crowd at 7pm. The highpoint of the evening will be the Taipei 101 fireworks, which people will be able to see from many locations across the city, even if they are unwilling to brave the cold and the crowd on the ground. The payoff for heading down to the Xinyi District will be music by some of Taiwan’s hottest acts, including Sodagreen (蘇打綠), Mayday (五月天), A-Mei (張惠妹), Jam Hsiao (蕭敬騰), MC Hotdog (熱狗), S.H.E and others. The party runs until 1am on Thursday.
If you want to watch the fireworks from way up high, a number of options are available. If you really want to get up close, there’s the observation deck of Taipei 101 itself. New Year packages are available starting at NT$700. Tickets including a sunrise breakfast on Jan. 1 start at NT$2,100 for two. Detailed ticketing information can be found at 101.travelrich.com.tw.
To take in the big picture, you really can’t do much better than ride the Miramar (美麗華) Ferris wheel in Taipei’s Neihu District, which is offering a range of packages for those who want to get a bird’s eye view of the festivities. A package for four persons, which includes a cabin on the Ferris wheel, movie tickets, beer and food from Le Bie d’Or (金色三麥), and free giveaways starts from NT$2,009. More information about this can be found at www.miramar.com.tw/event.php#A8.
For those who want to get started early, a New Year Parade (遊行嘉年華) will take place around the Xinyi commercial district starting at 3pm. Detailed information on the parade, the concert and the fireworks can be found at www.tvbs.com.tw/Project/tvbs_g/activity/2009_taipei/index.aspx.
Taoyuan County has brought in CTV (中視) to organize its event, going head-to-head with Taipei City Hall’s big bash, organized by TVBS. The Taoyuan do will take place at the Taoyuan Multipurpose Culture Park (桃園縣多功能藝文園區), at the corner of Jhongjheng Road (中正路) and Tongde 6th Road (同德六街). Mayday and Jolin Tsai (蔡依林) are the headliners, and Cape No. 7 star Van Fan (范逸臣) and familiar faces from the One Million Star (超級星光大道) “talent” show will also be making appearances. More information can be found at www.ctv.com.tw/event/tycg.
Kaohsiung is gearing up to make sure that southern Taiwan has as much of a blast as up north. Kaohsiung City has brought in TV station SetTV (三立) to organize its big event, which will take place at the Dream Mall (高雄夢時代廣場), at 789, Chunghua 5th Rd, Kaohsiung City (高雄市中華五路789號). It will be headlined
by local sons and daughters such as Wu Bai (伍佰) and Tiger Huang (黃小琥), but Sodagreen, Van Fan, and a host of young singers from the broadcaster’s Super Idol (超級偶像) will also appear. The party starts at 7pm.
The Kaohsiung County Government will be holding a huge event at the Wei Wu Ying Center of the Arts (高雄縣衛武營藝術文化中心), at 449-1 Nanjing Rd, Fengshan City, Kaohsiung County (高雄縣鳳山市南京路449之1號). The New Year’s Eve party kicks off at 4pm with a music and film festival and creative market and will really start to rock at 6pm, when a bevy of celebrities will take to the stage and stoke the party mood until the fireworks show at midnight.
Taichung City will welcome the New Year with an event organized by GTV (八大) at the stadium of National Taiwan Sport University (國立台灣體育大學體育場), 16, Shuangshi Rd Sec 1, Taichung City (台中市雙十路一段16號). The party starts at 7pm and runs to 1:30am. A schedule of the celebrities performing there can be found online at www.gtv.com.tw/SpecialCase/20090101.
The list of city and county governments holding New Year’s Eve celebrations this year is a particularly long one. Perhaps it’s all an effort to take people’s minds off the hard times. In addition to the above, Keelung will be holding a New Year’s Eve party from 7:30pm to 1am at piers 3 East and 4 East in the harbor district. Taichung County is holding an event at Taichung Harbor Sports Stadium (台中縣港區綜合體育館廣場) from 7:30pm to midnight. Changhua will be partying at the Typhone Plaza in Yuanlin Township (彰化縣員林鎮台鳳廣場) from 7:30pm, Yunlin County at the Paiwu Street Night Market in Huwei (虎尾拜五街夜市) from 8pm, Chiayi at the Chiayi Municipal Sports Ground (嘉義市體育場) from 7:30pm, Tainan at the city government building’s western plaza (台南市政府西側廣場) from 7:30pm, Ilan at the Lancheng Hsinyue Plaza (宜蘭市蘭城新月廣場) from 7pm, and, if you happen to be stuck in Penghu over the New Year, there will be a party at the Penghu County Government Plaza (澎湖縣府廣場).
Those planning on attending a New Year’s Eve party in a major city are advised to work out their travel plans ahead of time to account for traffic and crowd control measures. If using the MRT in either Taipei or Kaohsiung, be aware that access to certain stations will be restricted. A complete run down of New Year’s Eve Party information can be found at 2009ny.emmm.tw [in Chinese only].