Hello, and happy Chinese New Year from Taiwan
A little post from team member Emma out in Taiwan: It’s the first time I’ve ever celebrated Chinese New Year, and it was quite an experience! We all had a week long holiday (yay!), so we decided to take a trip to the beautiful Sun Moon Lake. Here we witnessed countless fireworks, red envelopes and banner, lots and lots of interesting food, and even small dogs in themed outfits! Sun Moon Lake gets my seal of approval, there was so much to do there; gondolas, amusements parks, peacock farms, bamboo parks, boat rides and so many lovely walks and hikes. After arriving back in Taipei, we took a short bus ride to Pingxi, where a big lantern festival is held every year. Pingxi is a small town with a railway that runs right through the middle, and this is where the lanterns are set off. We had the opportunity to decorate our own lantern. This “money” in the middle of the lantern is sent up to the gods who will then grant our wishes and help us to have a fantastic 2014! While the lantern festival was incredibly pretty, I was a little concerned about the potential impact all the lanterns could have on the surrounding environment. All of the lanterns were made out of degradable materials, and there were strict limits as to how many could be set off during the evening. Phew! I’ve found that experiencing the national holidays, festivals and traditions of another country to be very rewarding and enriching, and I hope to experience many more! If you are interested in any of the Chinese New Year traditions, then this short video may be worth watching. Just in case you were wondering, the Western New Year's Eve (Dec 31st) fireworks in Taipei were also spectacular. They were set off from Taipei 101, one of the tallest buildings in the world, and really were a great way to see in the new year!