As winter steps aside, spring flower shoots burst into bloom, as do the spirits of people drinking in the warming spring sun. The Chinese New Year, when one lunar year ends and another is given birth, is the most boisterous and heartfelt time of celebration in Taiwan, and in Taipei, the land's preeminent city, the celebrations are especially passionate this year. Added to the traditional New Year fun are two major events, the ongoing Taipei International Flora Expo and the centenary celebrations of the Republic of China.
In this issue of Discover Taipei, the theme is“Exploring the New Visions of the Flora Expo.” We introduce the visionary concepts that have been unveiled at the expo's many sleek new trendsetting facilities, tackling them from three angles: the international characteristics, arts, and advanced technology. The exotic flowers decorating the Global Garden area, the precious antiques of the Taipei Story House, the frontier-blazing technology on glorious display at the Pavilion of Dreams—each is part of a once-in-a-lifetime event bold in vision, broad in horizon, and globe-straddling in potential import. We also bring you a report on the positive reviews given by international public figures and celebrities who have already made pilgrimages to the Flora Expo.
Among the many large-scale ROC centenary celebration events and activities are the 7th Chinese Character Festival and the Tour Taiwan – Feel the Centennial Excitement travelpromotion program. This will be a birthday bash you'd certainly be remiss to miss.
Today in Taiwan, there are two different Lunar New Year celebration styles. One is of traditional rituals and practices: stocking up on traditional New Year goodies in familiar old commercial streets, the New Year's Eve meal, and staying up late on New Year's Eve. The other is of modern twists: high-end gift items bought at big, fashionable malls and New Year's Eve meals at swanky hotels. This New Year is in February, so is the Western Valentine's Day, and we go international again by introducing some city sweet spots for a romantic chocolate fondue meal with your special someone.
Speaking of fine feasts, in the cold of winter one fine way to warm the heart is to savor a feast of the arts, and this season, the city has prepared an attractive buffet for you. Recommended is a visit to the recently unveiled Treasure Hill Artist Village, a historical settlement magically transformed and given a new artistic mission. And the 2011 Taiwan International Festival of Arts features dynamic stage works fusing the avant-garde with the traditional, presented by the world's leading talents.
Been wondering how to fill your leisure time in the first few months of the new year? The answers await you in the pages you are about to explore. Enjoy.