Fri, Dec 27, 2013 - Page 4 News List

Nation offers range of New Year options

PARTY MIX:New Year celebration activities have been planned that can cater to a variety of tastes: music, city and mountain events and a chance to watch butterflies

Staff writer, with CNA

The sun rises over Erliao in Greater Tainan on Nov. 29 last year. Tour groups in Greater Tainan are offering three-part New Year tours to Cigu to see the sunset, followed by Gueiren Township to celebrate the New Year, before going to Erliao to see the sunrise.

Photo: courtesy of the Greater Tainan Government Tourism Bureau

Revelers have a range of New Year’s Eve events to choose from in the countdown to next year, with the Taipei 101 party expected to be the biggest show in the country.

A slew of celebrities will take to the stage at the various events that include a countdown at Taipei Civic Square. Taiwanese music group S.H.E, electropop diva Jeannie Hsieh (謝金燕), singer Yoga Lin (林宥嘉) and singer-songwriter William Wei (韋禮安) will be among the artists to entertain the crowd at that party.

For the first time, the Taipei Civic Square countdown will feature a live link with the Red and White Year-end Song Festival in Japan and a concert by Japanese singer Masaharu Fukuyama in Yokohama, the Taipei City Government said.

A fireworks display of more than three minutes is to be held at Taipei 101, one of the world’s tallest skyscrapers.

About 800,000 to 1 million people are expected to flock to the Taipei 101 area for the celebrations, which are to be streamed live on the Internet on www.viki.com, the city government said.

In southern Taiwan, Greater Kaohsiung is to host two main countdown parties, one at the Dream Mall and the other at E-Da World. Taiwanese rock band Mayday (五月天), singer Elva Hsiao (蕭亞軒) and Singaporean singer J.J. Lin (林俊傑) are among the celebrities scheduled to perform at those events. Fireworks shows are also planned at the two venues.

The celebrations in central Taiwan include two major events in Greater Taichung, at Da Jia Stadium and National Taiwan University of Physical Education and Sport, featuring Taiwanese singers Jam Hsiao (蕭敬騰) and Lin Yu-chun (林育群), and Eric Suen (孫耀威) from Hong Kong, among other entertainers.

A variety of options are also available for people who are hoping to spend the New Year in a more natural setting, the Tourism Bureau said.

Ten out of 13 national scenic sites have planned celebrations to greet the New Year, including countdown parties, concerts, and sunrise and sunset watching events, the bureau said.

In the Southwest Coast National Scenic Area, where its “salt mountains” — large piles of salt drying in the sun — attract large crowds year-round, visitors can bid farewell to the last sunset of this year with music, dance and a ritual that involves the sprinkling of salt for good luck.

Those who prefer to see next year’s first sunrise from a higher vantage point can visit central Taiwan’s Alishan National Scenic Area, one of the nation’s most popular scenic areas, to watch a classical music concert, which it has been hosting since 2003.

A countdown party has also been planned in the Northeast and Yilan Coast National Scenic Area, featuring popular music from 3:30am to 7:30am on Wednesday.

For wildlife lovers, the Maolin National Scenic Area in the south offers an ideal destination to welcome the New Year.

A campfire party is scheduled to run overnight in the area on Tuesday, while visitors are invited to a butterfly-watching event on the morning of New Year’s Day.

The park prides itself on a large population of purple crow butterflies, which tend to overwinter there.

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