The nation had its warmest winter solstice in 67 years yesterday, with the highest temperature rising above 30°C.
The astronomical phenomenon is known as Dongzi (冬至) in Taiwan, which means the “arrival of winter” and is the 22nd solar term on the traditional East Asian calendar. On the winter solstice, the northern hemisphere has its shortest day and longest night of the year.
Traditionally, Taiwanese eat hot glutinous rice ball soup, or tangyuan (湯圓), on the winter solstice.
Statistics from the Central Weather Bureau showed the highest temperature yesterday was recorded in Taipei, with the high hitting 30.5°C at 2:01pm.
The statistics also showed that the nation experienced its third-warmest winter solstice in recorded history, only beaten by 31.5°C recorded in 1934 and 30.7°C in 1948.
New Taipei City’s Tamsui (淡水) recorded a high temperature of 30.2°C at 1:57pm. In Banciao, the mercury surged to 29.9oC at 1:30pm.
Bureau forecaster Chang Cheng-chuan (張承傳) said the warm weather yesterday was caused by a southeasterly wind and strong sunlight.
However, the hot weather did not seem to reduce the appetite for the hot glutinous rice ball soup, as many store owners were still busy serving customers the winter dessert or delivering it to office workers.
“Many companies had ordered the dessert about a week before the winter solstice, because they were afraid that nobody would deliver to them if they ordered too late,” one store owner said.
Zhang Yang (張揚), who has just finished his military service, said his appetite for the dessert would not be affected by the weather.
The sunny skies are forecast to continue until tomorrow, although showers are expected in the north and east at about midnight on Christmas Eve because of the arrival of a frontal system.
The temperature is forecast to begin sliding on Friday due to the arrival of the northeast monsoon, with the high hitting no more than 20oC.
DOING ENOUGH? The HPA budgets NT$1.3 billion to prevent the health hazards of tobacco, but has no separate budget to fight teen drinking, a doctor said The government should step up alcohol education and prevention efforts, and allocate more of the budget to it, doctors said on Friday, citing the high consumption of alcohol among Taiwanese adolescents. One out of four 12-to-17-year-olds has consumed alcohol, said Yen Tsung-hai (顏宗海), director of Linkou Chang Gung Memorial Hospital’s Department of Clinical Toxicology. The Health Promotion Administration (HPA) budgets NT$1.3 billion (US$43.9 million) annually to prevent the health hazards of tobacco, but it has not allocated a separate budget for preventing teenage drinking or excessive alcohol use, Yen said. “There is no so-called ‘safe drinking level’ for minors,” because any amount consumed
The Fancy Frontier manga and anime expo held in Taipei over the weekend has sparked controversy, after a participant allegedly contravened the Act on Offenses Against Sexual Morality (妨害風化罪) by publicly exposing her private parts during a photo shoot. The two-day event opened at the Expo Dome at the Taipei Expo Park on Saturday, attracting numerous comic and anime creators, cosplayers, photographers and fans. Allegedly, a female cosplayer who was not wearing any underwear lifted up her skirt and revealed her private parts at an outdoor photography area near the venue. Event organizers said yesterday that to prevent indecent exposure, they have since
DREAMING OF TRAVEL: About 7,000 people applied for the experience, with about 60 chosen for the first flight yesterday, which includes boarding an airplane Starved of the travel experience during COVID-19? Taipei International Airport (Songshan airport) has the solution — a fake itinerary where you check in, go through passport control and security, and even board the aircraft. You just never leave. The airport yesterday began offering travelers the chance to do just that, with about 60 people eager to get going, albeit to nowhere. About 7,000 people applied to take part, with the winners chosen by random. More fake flight experiences are to take place in the coming weeks. “I really want to leave the country, but because of the pandemic, lots of flights cannot fly,”
YOUNGEST PATIENT: Cases of botulism have been only sporadically reported over the past few years, with two in 2015, six in 2016 and none in the past three years The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) yesterday reported the nation’s first case of infant botulism this year, a four-month-old boy in northern Taiwan, as well as five new cases of Japanese encephalitis confirmed last week. The boy was introduced to homemade solid food in the middle of last month, but began to experience constipation and loss of appetite on June 23, CDC Epidemic Intelligence Center Deputy Director Guo Hung-wei (郭宏偉) said, adding that he was taken to the hospital when he developed a fever and shortness of breath on June 25. In the hospital, the boy also experienced a rapid heartbeat, limb