The Holidays are upon us. We’ve already provided a guide for how to celebrate Thanksgiving in Taiwan (which launches the festive season) and now it’s time to switch focus to Christmas. Even though only 5 percent of the population actually identifies as Christian, Christmas is a big deal in the island state as hoards of visitors (and locals) partake in a wide variety of festivities to ring in the season. Taipei is the center of it all, and today we’re providing a guide of things to do for those traveling to the area at this special time of the year.
Top 3 Things to Do in Taipei to Celebrate Christmas and the Holiday Season
Christmasland – November 15 to December 15 (2019)
Location: New Taipei City Plaza, Banqiao District
image: courtesy of Taiwan Tourism Bureau
What could be more Christmassy than an event/place named “Christmasland”? Admittedly, traditional Christmas is somewhat lost in translation when it comes to this major festival, but that’s New Taipei City for you. What it may lack in convention it makes up for with spectacle, with evening light shows that may very well be seen from space, along with concerts and a variety of other performances on the stages of New Taipei City Plaza. The month-long affair offers lots of festive things to do for children, teens, and adults alike. There is a carnival, artisan fair, and ongoing Christmas market where you can bargain for stocking stuffers and Christmas presents to bring back to your home or hotel. Your camera will be working overtime in an attempt to capture all of the decorations, sights, and sounds that make for one of your most memorable Christmases to date.
Christmas Shopping and Cinema in Xinyi District – Through December
Location: Xinyi Square, Taipei
While not an official “event” per se, Christmas in Taipei is not complete without a visit to the fashionably fun Xinyi District to the east of New Taipei City. The Christmas lights and decorations that adorn the hotels, department stores, shops, and cafes along with carols playing softly throughout this commercial zone will incite Holiday cheer. There are even classic Christmas movies playing on rotation at the outdoor cinema at Xinyi Square. European-styled Christmas market kiosks are popping up more and more each year, and we also have word that Santa is expected to make numerous visits to Xinyi Square through the month of December, so you’d better be good for goodness sake!
Walking Tour of Ji-Qing Christmas Alley
Ji-Qing Village, Taipei City
Christmas land (New Taipei City) and Christmas shopping in Xinyi District will be fun, but for some of you the commercial aspect of the Holiday season can be a turn off. This is as true here as it is for the rest of the world. If you’re looking to escape the commercial trappings then there is one place in Taipei City that you absolutely need to visit this Christmas – Ji-Qing Village. About two decades ago, the Christian faith San-Ai church began putting Christmas decorations outside for parishioners and the general public to enjoy. Gradually, Christmas spirit spread through the community as local residents and businesses followed suit, decorating their homes and storefronts with lights and quaint decorative wares. Fast forward to today (2019 and beyond) and you’ll find one of the most enjoyable holiday season settings in all of Taiwan. Locals and visitors from all over the island flock to Ji-Qing Village in the week leading up to December 25 (once everyone has set up their lights and decorations) to walk through the neighborhood, sipping BYO hot cocoa or mulled wine while taking photos of the proud displays that line the “alley”. You can take the MRT red line from Taipei City to Shi-pai station and walk out of Exit 1 for easy access to the festive display, or better yet – go with a local guide who can pick you and your party up from your accommodations and take you here. Along the way they’ll be happy to show you some other impressive Christmas displays throughout the city.
Santa can’t do Christmas without his helpers, and you should follow suit when in Taipei by connecting to a local guide to help you navigate the city during the Holiday season. Download the Loci Amica app today.