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Taipei Festivals

Festivals in Taiwan run the gamut from small localized affairs to huge national events. The following list is a brief summary of some of the more popular celebrations.

The Dragon Boat Festival

This event grows in popularity each year. Over one hundred and ten teams have registered to compete (2006), including eight overseas teams from the United States, Japan, Hong Kong, the Philippines, and Nepal.

Taipei is home to Taiwan's only temple honoring the patriotic poet Chu Yuan. The legend behind the Dragon Boat Festival involves this famous Chinese poet, who was discredited by rivals and lost the trust of his king. The despondent poet drowned himself on the fifth day of the fifth lunar month in the year 277 BC. The locals respected the exiled official and they jumped into their boats and rushed out to save him. They tossed "zong zih" (sticky rice wrapped in leaves) into the water so the fish would not eat his body. The Dragon Boat Festival commemorates this unsuccessful rescue attempt.

The Dragon Boat Festival has become an international event

The Lantern Festival

The Taipei Lantern Festival is held every year at the Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall and features thousands of elaborate lanterns, lion and dragon dances, folk art demonstrations, acrobatic performances, and ceremonial temple processions. The festival has a different theme each year, and combines tradition with technology, art, sound, and light. This grand, three-day celebration of Chinese culture attracts millions of revellers every year, making it the largest celebration on the island.

The Lantern Festival is the most widely attended event of its kind in Taiwan
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