In Singapore, Lunar New Year means two days off work for everyone, even though the celebration is traditionally more important to the ethnic Chinese population than to other Singapore residents. Many people visit the traditional Chinatown on New Year's Eve for a parade and countdown to the New Year. Just as in Taiwan, spending time with family is very important.
Fireworks, firecrackers, confetti, and floats help create a festive atmosphere in the streets, while restaurants offer special dinners and food stands sell traditional treats like waxed duck, sweet meats and cookies.
Singapore also marks the fall of the city to Japanese forces on Lunar New Year, calling it Self Defense Day, but the New Year festivities are by far more important.
A: The Lantern Festival — the 15th day of the first lunar month — will be this Sunday. B: Where’s the Taiwan Lantern Festival being held this year? A: It’s taking place in Tainan and will run until March 10. B: It’s the Year of the Dragon: there must be a lot of dragon-shaped lanterns. How about the Taipei Lantern Festival? A: The event has moved back to Ximending and will run until March 3. A: 農曆1月15日元宵節，今年將會落在本週日。 B: 今年「台灣燈會」在哪裡？ A: 在台南，活動持續到3月10日。 B: 今年是龍年，應該會有許多以龍為造型的花燈。那「台北燈節」呢？ A: 這次燈節將會搬回西門町，活動持續到3月3日。 （By Eddy Chang, Taipei Times／台北時報張聖恩）
Every year, mammals, birds, fish and insects make epic migrations between habitats. The humpback whale, famously, can travel 5,000 miles in a trip. But because these animals cross national borders and frequently congregate at predictable way stops, they are uniquely vulnerable to human predation, pollution and habitat loss. As a result, one in five migratory species is at risk of extinction, according to a new report by the United Nations. State of the World’s Migratory Species is a first-ever global survey focused solely on migratory species. The key findings are grim. Of the roughly 1,200 species already listed and protected under the
A: Tomorrow is the Lantern Festival. In addition to looking at lanterns, people also celebrate the day by eating glutinous rice balls. B: Although the fillings have become diverse in recent years, sesame- and peanut-flavored rice balls are the most popular. A: And every year, diehard fans of the two fillings always argue about which flavor is better. B: No wonder a company is selling sesame-peanut rice balls with two fillings, but they are a little pricey. A: Really? Then I have to try them. A: 明天是元宵節，大家除了要賞花燈還要吃湯圓。 B: 近年來湯圓的口味越來越多，不過最受歡迎的還是芝麻和花生湯圓。 A: 兩種口味各有擁護者，每年都引發一場湯圓大戰。 B: 所以有廠商推出了芝麻花生雙餡湯圓，不過也比較貴。 A: 真的嗎？我也想試試看。 （By Eddy Chang, Taipei Times／台北時報張聖恩）
Have you ever been in a foreign land, reaching the end of a delicious meal, but then suddenly realizing that you’re clueless about the local tipping rules? The custom of tipping, although often confusing, is deeply woven into the cultural fabric of societies worldwide. In Japan, tipping is almost unheard of because of the principle of Shokunin kishitsu, often translated as “craftsman spirit.” It’s a belief that service is a responsibility, making service providers take great pride in offering outstanding care to customers. Instead of monetary tips, the Japanese often express their appreciation through compliments or respectful bows. An exception is