By definition, a parade is “a large public procession, usually including a marching band and often of a festive nature, held in honor of an anniversary, person, event, etc”. Less-than-ethusiatsic interpretation aside, parades are blast for those who enjoying mingling with a crowd amidst festive sights and sounds. While there are jubilant gatherings throughout Taiwan all year long, we’re now (at press) entering a season of celebrations where parades are the focal point. If you happen to be here at the right time, we highly recommend planning your day/s around the following.
Four Annual Parades to Attend and Celebrate When Visiting Taiwan
Taipei Dream Parade – October (exact date varies by year)
image: Dream Community Facebook
Taipei’s Dream Parade is an annual street festival held each October in New Taipei City’s Sijhih District, within a live-work-play collective known as the Dream Community. Part Mardi Gras, part Brazilian Carnival, part Burning Man, and part whatchamacallit, this event is a can’t miss for street festival revelers. There is a new theme every year, with each as fanciful and creative as the next as artisans from all over the world collaborate to deliver an eclectic blend of music, multicultural display, and dance along Zhongshan and Renai Roads, capped by a post-parade party with live music on Ketagalan Boulevard. This year (2019) the Dream Parade lands on October 1st, but you can check dates for all futures parades on the Dream Community Facebook page.
Taiwan Pride Parade – 3rd Saturday of October
Taiwan may be known for its progressive views (when compared to the rest of Asia) on sexuality and gender identification but it’s also well known as an LGBT friendly place to visit because of its annual Pride Parade. On the third Saturday of every October the Taiwan Pride Parade in Taipei draws open-minded people from all over the island and world in inclusive celebration. Like the Dream Parade (above) the parade zeros in on Ketagalan Boulevard in the Zhongzheng District of Taipei City and delivers one of the most colorful and delightful exhibitions of its kind.
Christmasland Parade – December (exact date varies by year)
Although Christians account for under 5 percent of Taiwan’s population, the spirit of Christmas seems to grow more and more every year. And nothing rings in the season quite like a Christmas parade! If you happen to be on the island for the season and need your fix, we suggest hitting the aptly named Christmasland “Merry Balloon” parade in New Taipei City. Christmasland is a relatively new development and so the event schedule varies by year, but be sure to connect to a Loci Amica local guide for event details, as December approaches.
Hanxi Mazu’s Eighteen Villages Celebration Parade – 3rd Lunar Month (mid-April)
Last but not least we wrap up this annual parade schedule with the Taichung Mazu International Festival’s pilgrimage which concludes at the Dajia Mazu Temple into what is known as the Eighteen Villages Celebration Parade. In fact, the finale is the crown of what is considered to be one of the Top 5 Annual Events in Taiwan, so it makes sense that it rounds out this list of the best parades. The exact date of the finale varies by the year (typically mid-April) so be sure to connect to a Loci Amica guide for exact details and for some up-close local access to the entire pilgrimage. Download the Loci Amica app here.