Enchanting Taiwan

Tags: culture | nature


The seventh month of Taiwan's lunar calendar marks Ghost Month, when offerings such as this paper carp are set aflame as part of the ceremonial burning of Wang Ye boats to drive away evil spirits.

Photo by: GIO Photographer

Once known as the “Golden City,” the mountain settlement of Jinguashih in northern Taiwan sparkles peacefully under the night sky.

Photo by: GIO Photographer

At Moon World in Tainan County’s Zuojhen Township, powerful forces of erosion have created a rugged landscape of bare, jagged ridges and hence its name.

Photo by: GIO Photographer

The first shaft of morning light brushes softly against the worn sandstone of Taiwan’s northeast coast, igniting the natural beauty of the stone’s grain.

Photo by: GIO Photographer

Queen’s Head is a particularly well-known example of the countless fascinating rock formations sculpted by wind and waves along the coastal area of Yeliu.

Photo by: GIO Photographer

The Baling Bridge, part of the Northern Cross-island Highway, makes for an eye-catching sight against the background of a narrow river gorge.

Photo by: GIO Photographer


Feeling the Wisdom of Nature—Scenic Landscapes

Nature is the eternal friend of humankind. The deep blue sea and verdant earth embody Taiwan's vitality. They provide the foundation on which Taiwan grows.

On a map or from space, Taiwan seems to be a tiny piece of land. In an ecologist's eyes, however, Taiwan appears as a compact but consummate natural paradise deserving in-depth exploration. Taiwan lies on the eastern edge of the Asian continent, surrounded by the Pacific Ocean. In terms of both climate and geography, Taiwan runs the gamut from temperate to sub-tropical and tropical. It is a land of enchanting scenic beauty, solemn majestic mountains and deep magnificent valleys. Spring, summer, fall and winter—each season paints a unique picture of the earth's mystery.

Enjoy a day at the beach watching the rolling waves and listening to the sea crashing against the shore. The beaches, cliffs and islets of Taiwan offer the perfect environment to enjoy the meeting of land and sea. From the bustling prosperity of the island's great cities to quaint charm of tiny villages nestled high in the mountains, Taiwan is full of sights unseen in the West, where visitors can experience the enthusiastic hospitality and warmth of the people. Without the salve of unspoiled nature, the human spirit would quickly wither. Taiwan's natural beauty beckons the curious eye and us to move confidently forward towards exploration and appreciation.

Come closer to nature and appreciate Taiwan.

The Refinement of Culture—Folk Customs

Folk customs are the truest reflection of the heart and spirit of the common man.

Along with Taiwan's economic development, the island's culture has flourished. Taiwan's Cloud Gate Dance Theatre has won renown both at home and abroad, as have the works of such great local directors as Ang Lee and Hou Hsiao-hsien. A trip to Taiwan offers visitors the opportunity to taste a mixture of Eastern and Western culture.

Taiwan's major folk holidays and festivals are celebrated according to the lunar calendar of traditional Chinese agrarian society. The rhythm of life as defined by the 24 solar terms of the year, spring planting, summer weeding, the autumn harvest, and winter storage—together with myths, legends and religious customs—gives rise to harvest celebrations, prayers to gods, charms against evil, ancestor worship, and the full range of practices and ceremonies. Of course, even before the arrival of Han Chinese settlers, the aboriginal inhabitants of Taiwan had already been living on the island for thousands of years, and their customs and practices have contributed greatly to the vitality of Taiwan's modern culture.

Taiwan's culture is on display throughout the year, beginning with the Lunar New Year and the sky lanterns of the Lantern Festival. Spring brings the tour of Matsu, the Harvest Festival of the Tsou people, and the Tung Blossom Festival of the Hakka. The Dragon Boat Festival, pole climbing, the Taipei Food Festival, Ghost Month and the International Children's Folklore and Folkarts Festival are celebrated in the summer.

With autumn winds come the International Kite Festival and the International Collegiate Invitational Regatta, and the year ends with the worship for the dwarf man by the Saisiyat tribe. This full calendar of activity infuses Taiwan culture with vigor and vitality.

Cultural diversity adds color to Taiwan.

Taiwan Image - Photo Archive

Text and images are provided by Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Republic of China (TAIWAN)


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