Guide to Festivals & Holidays in Taiwan

This guide will cover popular Taiwanese festivals throughout various seasons. And for different types of travelers.

I’ve celebrated a lot of holidays and went to many festivals during my time in Taiwan (so far). And I wish I would have known more about each holiday/event before moving to and visiting Taiwan.

You’ll find the resources and information that I didn’t.

Considerations for Travelers

  • Avoid late January/early February as Lunar New Year could cause flight/hotel prices to surge and crowds to swell.
  • Consider March–April for pleasant weather, cherry blossoms, and less crowded attractions.
  • Skip July–August due to hot, humid weather, typhoon season, and crowded beaches.
  • October offers comfortable temperatures and unique festivals like the Mid-Autumn Festival and Double Ten Day, but may be slightly more crowded.
  • November boasts comfortable weather and fewer crowds, making it ideal for outdoor activities and exploring cities.
  • December is a festive period with Christmas markets and New Year’s Eve celebrations, but expect higher prices and larger crowds.

Many of these are also celebrated in other East Asian cultures. But this guide covers festivals celebrated in Taiwan.

The following sections will talk about when, where, why, and what happens at each festival.

1. Lunar New Year

  • Should you travel during this time
  • Month: Jan or Feb
  • Other names: Chinese New Year, Spring Festival

The Lunar New Year is a time for families getting together, eating, launching fireworks, and celebrating the start of a new year. Taiwanese typically clean their houses, give red envelopes with money, and enjoy foods like dumplings and fish.

It happens on the fifth day of the Chinese lunar calendar’s first month. This tends to happen around late January or early February.

If you have a Taiwanese family, or friends who are cool with bringing you to their family’s home, it’s a pleasant experience. If not, and if you don’t need to be in Taiwan, reconsider traveling during this time.

Because it’ll be crowded (at first). In 2024 Taoyuan Airport had more than 1.16 million passengers [1]. That’s not ideal for finding plane tickets. Moreover, these tickets may go up in price due to demand.

And once the festival ends, northbound traffic often has some of the heaviest congestion it’ll have in a year.

If you intend on staying in cities like Taipei, New Taipei, and Kaohsiung, it’ll be like a ghost town.

However, you could go watch dragon dance performances like what they often have at the Grand Hyatt Hotel in Taipei. And if you’re up north before the festival, I recommend exploring Dihua Street in Datong District in Taipei City.

It’s a famous Lunar New Year shopping area for all Spring Festival needs. It’s also a place that’ll help you learn more about Taiwan’s history.

By the way…

Use this calendar to help you learn when the next Spring Festival is. It’ll help build your itinerary around the Chinese New Year.

2. Moon Festival

  • Should you travel during this time
  • Month: Sept–Oct
  • Best foods: Barbecued foods, pomelos, and moon cakes
  • Other names: Mid-Autumn Festival

The Moon Festival happens once the harvest season ends. People will use this holiday to thank the deities for their bountiful harvests and gather with their families to celebrate.

They’ll also barbecue, stroll under the moon, and eat pomelos.

Why do they eat pomelos?

Because the Mandarin word for this fruit is 柚子 (you zi). It sounds like the word that means “prayer for a son”. Eating these fruits and putting the rinds on their children’s heads signifies a prayer to Chang’e for the children.

Several stories gave this holiday its “Moon” name.

One story involves Chang’e, a woman who stole her husband’s elixir of life, became immortal, and flew to the moon.

Anyway, you’ll want to try as many moon cakes as possible while you’re in Taiwan during this festival. They’re everywhere and have varying flavors like red bean, salted egg yolk, green tea, and other unique flavors.

They also make great souvenirs.

3. Dragon Boat Festival

  • Should you travel during this time: Recommended
  • Month: May or June
  • Best foods: Realgar wine and zongzi
  • Other names: The Poet’s Festival, Duanwu Festival

This festival is in memory of the death of the poet Qu Yuan (屈原).

Many locals will participate in dragon boat races, a competitive sport where teams paddle to the beat of a drum. They also enjoy traditional foods like zongzi (粽子/zòngzi), sticky rice dumplings filled with various ingredients.

I highly recommend these. 

Travelers can experience the Dragon Boat Festival by watching the races and trying zongzi. 

Popular places to watch the race include:

  • Taipei’s Dajia Riverside Park
  • Sun Moon Lake in Nantou County
  • Dragon Boat Pier in Zhunan
  • Lukang
  • Anping Canal in Tainan
  • Kaohsiung Bridge

If you’re the superstitious type, avoid swimming, washing clothes, and eating cold foods (e.g., ice cream) on this day. The first two because water is believed to be contaminated. The third because I guess it’ll harm your digestion and make you more susceptible to illnesses.

4. Taiwan Lantern Festival (Pingxi Lantern Festival)

  • Should you travel during this time: Recommended
  • Month: Feb 2025; already passed in 2024
  • Best foods: Rice-flour dumplings

During the Pingxi Lantern Festival people release sky lanterns with wishes written on them. From there, the lanterns float up into the night sky, creating a beautiful spectacle.

This tradition supposedly brings good luck and fortune.

During the festival, Taiwanese often gather with family and friends to release lanterns together.

They also enjoy local street food and snacks, such as peanut ice cream rolls (my favorite) and grilled sausages.

Foreigners/travelers can participate. I recommend going to Pingxi around this time. These lanterns typically cost an estimated NT$150 for a white lantern and NT$200 for a 4-color one.


These produce A LOT of trash since you’re sending lanterns in the air that eventually fall into the mountains. In 2024, a garbage collection team collected more than 350 pounds (160 kg) of trash from the aftermath of the festival [2].

People are working on “zero-carbon” and “environmentally-friendly” lanterns. But I have no idea when these will be available.

Consider this if that’s something you’re worried about. I’m just presenting information. Not trying to push an agenda.

5. Tomb Sweeping Day

  • Should you travel during this time: Yes
  • Month: Usually April 4th, 5th, or 6th
  • Best foods: Green dumplings
  • Other names: Qingming Festival, Pure Brightness Festival, Ching Ming Festival, Chinese memorial day, Ancestors’ Day, and Clear Brightness Festival

Tomb Sweeping Day is a time for Taiwanese to honor their ancestors. Families will often visit ancestral gravesites to clean and maintain them. And they’ll offer food, incense, and paper money to their deceased loved ones.

These activities are a way to show respect and remember those who have passed on.

It is a time for families to come together and connect with their roots.

Foreigners and travelers usually do not partake in these events. Unless they are with a Taiwanese family, they are not expected to engage in the traditional customs.

There is a superstition that if you’re not a relative that you shouldn’t light an incense at the tomb. Because the spirit will see an unfamiliar face and follow you home.

I don’t know how many Taiwanese follow this superstition. I told my wife about it and she had no idea it existed.

This holiday doesn’t affect travel in any way. However, cities may be emptier since folks will go to the countryside to be with their families.

6. Ghost Festival

  • Should you travel during this time
  • Month: August-Sept

On the first day of this spiritual month, the gates to the netherworld will open. This event releases spirits, or “Good Brothers” and “Good Sisters”, into our realm.

It is generally a safe time to travel, but it is important to respect local customs.

Many Taiwanese will follow varying superstitions to avoid possessions and angering these apparitions. For instance, they believe that people should not whistle at night or hang their wet laundry outside after midnight.

Most locals probably won’t observe many of the superstitions (specifically the younger people), but at least make an effort to observe some of them. They’ll likely appreciate the gesture.

Come the 15th day of Ghost Month, Taiwanese will celebrate the Ghost Festival (Zhongyuan Festival). They’ll prepare fruit, flowers, and other sacrificial items and offer them to “hungry ghosts” at altar tables in front of people’s homes.

Or, they’ll travel to temples with these offerings.

On the 29th of the month, the spirits will return to whence they came.

Public Holidays

If you’re traveling to or living in Taiwan, it’s important to know these days in case places close:

HolidayDateDescriptionLocal Name
Founding of the Republic of ChinaJan 1stCelebrates the birth of the Republic.中華民國開國紀念日
Lunar New Year29th or 30th day of the 12th monthMarks the start of a new lunar year and spring.農曆除夕
Peace Memorial DayFeb 28thHonors lives lost in the 228 Incident.228和平紀念日
Children’s DayApr 4thCelebrates children.兒童節
Tomb Sweeping Day15th days after the Spring EquinoxHonors and remembers deceased ancestors.淸明節
Dragon Boat Festival5th day of the 5th lunar monthCommemorates the poet Qu Yuan’s death.端午節
Mid-Autumn Festival15th day of the 8th monthCelebrates the harvest moon and family reunions.中秋節
Double Tenth DayOct 10thCelebrates the RoC’s founding.雙十節

* Also New Year’s Day

** Taiwanese typically get at least 5 days around the Lunar New Year. Many businesses will be closed during this time.

I will repeat some of these in the tables below. However, if you’re on this post for this information, I just saved you 5 minutes.

Festivals & Holidays by Seasons & Months

I’ll use this area to dump all of Taiwan’s festivals (by season and month) to make it easier for you to view.

Use this information to help with trip planning. I’ll provide more information on some festivals after this mess of tables.

I’m sure that I missed some festivals. However, I’ll add them as I figure out my likely many mistakes.

Fall (Sept–Nov)

Festival/HolidayLocationMonthLocal Name
Mid-Autumn FestivalNationalSept–Oct中秋節
Jazz FestivalTaipeiSept–Oct臺北爵士音樂節
Teachers’ Day / Confucius’ BirthdayNationalSept 28th教師節 (Teacher’s Day)
Nuit BlancheTaipeiFirst weekend of OctNA
National DayNationalOctober 10th國慶日
Hakka Yimin FestivalTaipeiMid–Oct客家義民祭
International Puppet Arts FestivalYunlin TownshipOct雲林國際偶戲節
Lion Dance FestivalKaohsiungOct–Nov高雄戲獅
Wang Yeh Boat Burning FestivalTainanOnce every 3 yrs; Oct or Nov燒王爺船
Beitou Hot Spring Museum AnniversaryTaipeiOct–Nov北投溫泉博物館
Digital Arts FestivalTaipeiOct–Nov臺北數位藝術節
Zooloween Taipei ZooLate OctNA
Taipei Pride ParadeTaipeiLast Saturday of Oct台灣同志遊行
Road to Ultra Music FestivalTaipeiNov台灣地區購票
Pas’ta’aiNanzhuang and Wufeng TownshipsOnce every 2 yrs; full moon of 10th Lunar mo.; NovNA
Autumn Rose ExhibitionTaipeiNov–Dec秋季玫瑰展
Shilin Residence Chrysanthemum ShowTaipeiNov–Dec士林官邸菊花展
Golden Horse Film Festival and AwardsTaipeiNov–Dec台北金馬影展
Qingshan King FestivalTaipei22nd day of Nov or Dec青山王祭
Maolin Purple Butterfly FestivalKaohsiungNov–Mar茂林紫蝶節
Xinshe Flower FestivalTaichungNov–Dec新社花海

Winter (Dec–Mar)

FestivalLocationMonthLocal Name
Taipei MarathonTaipeiDec臺北馬拉松
Hsinchu City God’s BirthdayHsinchu29th day of 11th Lunar mo.; Dec–Jan新竹都城隍爺聖誕
Christmasland New TaipeiNov–Jan新北歡樂耶誕城
New Year’s EveNationwideDec 31st跨年夜
New Year Ritual of the Puyuma tribePuyuma villagesDecNA
New Year’s DayNationwideJan 1st元旦
Wake Up FestivalVariesJan覺醒音樂祭
Lunar New YearNationwideJan–Feb農曆新年
Foguangshan Festival of LightKaohsiungJan–Mar佛光山春節平安燈會
Cherry Blossom FestivalNationwideJan–Mar阿里山櫻花季
Mayasvi Ceremony of the Tsou tribeChiayiFebNA
Farmer’s DayNationwideFeb農民節
Lantern FestivalNationwide15th day of 1st Lunar mo; Feb–Mar元宵節
Pingxi Sky Lantern FestivalNew TaipeiFeb–Mar天燈
Arbor DayNationwideMar國父逝世紀念日
Youth DayNationwideMar靑年節
Yanshui Fireworks FestivalTainan15th day of 1st Lunar mo; Feb–Mar鹽水蜂炮
Bombing of Master HandanTaitung15th day of 1st Lunar mo; Feb–Mar炸寒單
Bombing the Dragon FestivalsMiaoli15th day of 1st Lunar mo; Feb–Mar火旁龍
Spring Arts FestivalKaohsiungFeb–Jul高雄春天藝術節
Azalea FestivalTaipeiMar–Apr陽明山花季
Yuguang Island Art FestivalTainanMar–Apr漁光島藝術節
Guanyin’s BirthdayTemples; nationwide19th day of 2nd Lunar mo.; Mar–Apr觀音菩薩聖誕
Eden Hill Music FestivalNantouMar–Apr伊甸高原戶外音樂節
Calla Lily FestivalTaipeiMar–May竹子湖海芋季
Neimen Song Jiang Battle ArrayKaohsiungMar–Apr高雄內門宋江陣
Treasure Hill Light FestivalTaipeiMar–May寶藏巖光節
Flying Fish FestivalOrchid islandMar–summerNA
Spring ScreamVariesFeb春天吶喊
MegaportKaohsiungUsually March大港開唱
Wave FestivalTaitungMar–Apr貢寮國際海洋音樂祭
Organik FestivalVariesMar–AprNA

Spring (Apr–May)

FestivalLocationMonthLocal Name
Tomb Sweeping FestivalNationwideApr清明節
Urban Nomad Film FestivalTaipeiApr–MayNA
Baosheng Emperor’s BirthdayTaipeiApr–May保生大帝聖誕
International Matsu FestivalTaichungApr–May大甲媽祖遶境進香
Hakka Tung Blossom FestivalNew Taipei, Taoyuan, Miaoli, and HsinchuApr–May客家桐花祭
International Fireworks FestivalPenghuMid–June/July澎湖國際海上花火節
International Sand Sculpture Art FestivalFulongApr–Aug福隆國際沙雕藝術季
Labor DayNationwideMay勞動節
Mother’s DayNationwideMay母親節
Literary DayNationwideMay文藝節
International Documentary FestivalTaipeiMay臺灣國際紀錄片影展
Ear-Shooting FestivalTaitungMayNA
Heartown Music FestivalTaichungMay山海屯音樂節
Earthfest Music FestivalMiaoli or PuliMay and Sept地球春浪音樂節
Jinshan Fire Fishing Festival New TaipeiMay – July金山磺火捕魚

Summer (June–Aug)

FestivalLocationMonthLocal Name
Opium Suppression Movement DayNationwideJune禁菸節
* ComputexTaipeiJune–July臺北國際電腦展覽會
Film FestivalTaipeiJune–July臺北電影節
Dragon Boat FestivalNationwide5th day of 5th Lunar mo.; May–June端午節
Xiahai City God ParadeTaipei13th day of 5th Lunar mo; June臺西五條港安西府王爺祭
International Mango FestivalTainanJune–July玉井芒果節
Children’s Art FestivalTaipeiJuly衛武營童樂節
Hohaiyan Rock Music FestivalNew TaipeiJuly貢寮國際海洋音樂祭
Father’s DayNationwideAug父親節
International Balloon FestivalTaitungJuly–Aug臺灣國際熱氣球嘉年華
God Temple Ghost Festival ParadeHsinchu7th lunar month新竹都城隍遶境賑孤
Cigu Seafood FestivalTainanJuly–Aug臺南七股海鮮節官方網站
Amis Harvest FestivalHualienJuly–SeptNA
Ghost FestivalNationwideAug–Sept中元節
Qixi FestivalNationwide7th day of the 7th Lunar mo.; Aug – Sept七夕
Fringe FestivalTaipeiAug–Sept台北藝穗節

* Computex isn’t a “festival.” However, for tech. nerds, it’s an important time of the year.

Here are Some Fun Festivals That Families Can Attend

Here are a bunch of celebrations that are great for families (of any country) to participate in:

  • Azalea Festival (Yangmingshan, Taipei): Flower viewing, guided hikes, and cultural events.
  • International Fireworks Festival (Penghu): Displays of fireworks choreographed to music over the sea.
  • International Sand Sculpture Art Festival (Fulong Beach, New Taipei City): Sand sculptures created by artists from around the world.
  • Children’s Arts Festival (Taipei): Interactive performances, workshops, and exhibitions across Taipei City.
  • New Year’s Eve (Taipei): Join the countdown to the new year with a fireworks show at Taipei 101.
    • Other cities also have firework displays, but Taipei’s is the best (in my opinion).

I’m dedicating a separate section for this specific event because there’s a lot to discuss.

Christmasland in Banqiao, New Taipei City

Throughout late November and December, the local government will decorate the New Taipei City Hall, and areas outside the Banqiao train station with intriguing light and light art installations. 

christmasland sign in new taipei city, taiwan
Christmasland 2020

They’ll also have a massive Christmas tree right outside the train station.

The themes of these displays differ each year depending on the sponsor. In 2020, it was Disney-themed, and in 2021, Christmasland had a LEGO theme.

Every day, at certain times, the New Taipei City Hall will play a minute-long animation that’s displayed on the front of the building. On one of the days, catch a concert hosted in the main market area.

You’ll also see food and souvenir stands. However, the food isn’t anything special compared to Taiwanese night markets or other restaurants. Thus, I recommend eating dinner before visiting.

Are You a Couple? You’ll Love These Events

Are you a couple that’s inside of Taiwan? Cool. Here are some festivals and events y’all can go to:

  • Cherry Blossom Festival (Various locations): Capture romantic photos amidst the scenery.
  • Spring Arts Festival (Taipei): Explore diverse exhibitions and performances.
  • International Balloon Festival (Taitung): Take a romantic balloon ride for a unique view, and create lasting memories.
  • Calla Lily Festival (Yangmingshan, Taipei): Wander through fields of elegant calla lilies, take couple portraits.
  • Megaport Music Festival (Kaohsiung): Discover new music together.

Festivals for Taiwan’s Indigenous Tribes

These festivals are mostly for folks in aboriginal villages. However, it’s interesting to learn about their traditions:

  • Ilisin (Harvest Festival) of the Amis Tribe:Celebrates the harvest with traditional dances, communal feasts, and rituals that honor ancestors and the land.
  • Flying Fish Festival (Orchid Island): Marks the flying fish season, a vital part of Tao culture, with rituals, ceremonies, and traditional dances.
  • Mala Hodaigian (Ear-Shooting Festival) of the Bunun Tribe:  This coming-of-age tradition sees young Bunun men demonstrate their archery skills.
  • Mangayaw (Festival of the Sea God) of the Yami Tribe (Orchid Island): Honors the sea god and showcases Yami traditions and beliefs related to the ocean.
  • Pasta’ay (Harvest Festival) of the Saisiyat Tribe: Rituals, ceremonies, traditional dances, and enchanting music, expressing gratitude for a bountiful harvest.
  • Vasivas (Monkey Festival for Young Men): Puyuma men undergo tests of strength and agility, showcasing their skills and preparing for adulthood.


What Is the Most Popular Holiday in Taiwan?

The most popular holiday in Taiwan is the Spring Festival (Lunar New Year or Chinese New Year).

Do They Celebrate Christmas in Taiwan?

Yes, Taiwan celebrates Christmas. But Taiwan doesn’t recognize Christmas as a national holiday.

How Many Festivals Are There in Taiwan?

Taiwan has 6 popular traditional festivals. Otherwise, they have dozens of other festivals.

Who Organizes Festivals in Taiwan?

Local governments or communities usually organize festivals in Taiwan.