Tuesday, June 22, 2021

2020 Lunar New Year Bazaars in Taiwan

Lunar New Year, also known as the Chinese New Year or Spring Festival, is the grandest festival in Taiwan. Shopping at the bazaars in Taiwan in the run-up to the Lunar New Year’s Eve is, therefore, something indispensable for almost every household.

Meat products such as sausages and Jinhua Ham (Chinese ham) are popular New Year items at the shopping bazaars in Taiwan. (Image: Billy Shyu / Nspirement)
Meat products such as sausages and Jinhua Ham (Chinese ham) are popular New Year items in Taiwan. (Image: Billy Shyu / Nspirement)

To celebrate the Year of the Rat and facilitate the general public to purchase New Year items, the Taipei City government has organized the Taipei New Year Shopping Fair, also called the Taipei Chinese New Year Street Bazaar, (台北年貨大街) primarily on Dihua Street (迪化街) near Taipei Main Station, since the 1990s.

Please watch the following video of the 2020 Lunar New Year Bazaars in Taiwan.

With the theme of “Super New Year (超.新年),” the carnival-like Taipei Chinese New Year Street Bazaar this year is held concurrently at Taipei City’s nine commercial districts, including Dihua Street, from January 10 to 23.

Mullet roe (烏魚子) is a an expensive but popular delicacy for Taiwanese for the Lunar New Year holiday. (Image: Billy Shyu / Nspirement)
Mullet roe (烏魚子) is an expensive but popular delicacy for Taiwanese during the Lunar New Year holiday. (Image: Billy Shyu / Nspirement)

Most striking of the bazaars in Taiwan is on Dihua Street

As always, the most striking of the street bazaars in Taiwan is on Dihua Street again this year. It is always packed with shoppers and visitors during this shopping season, as it is traditionally the iconic distribution hub for dried food and groceries in Taipei.

Sweetened sticky-rice cake , literally “New Year cake," is a important item for Taiwanese families. (Image: Julia fu / Nspirement)
Sweetened sticky rice cake, called ‘New Year Cake,’ is an important item for Taiwanese families. (Image: Julia Fu / Nspirement)

In fact, the 800-meter-long old street, which was constructed in the 1850s, was once the most important commercial trading center in Taiwan, particularly for Chinese herbal medicine, fabrics, tea, and rice. At the time, the top five major foreign firms all had branch offices on this street for the exportation of camphor and tea.

There are a variety of red envelopes (紅包) and spring couplets (春聯) with innovative designs sold at the Lunar New Year Bazaar. (Image: Billy Shyu / Nspirement)
There are a variety of red envelopes (紅包) and spring couplets (春聯) with innovative designs sold at the Lunar New Year Bazaar. (Image: Billy Shyu / Nspirement)

In addition to the existing 180 shops, there are over 300 more vending booths set up on the two sides of Dihua Street during the Bazaar. New Year items sold at the Bazaar include prepared food, dried items, Peking Duck, Jinhua ham (Chinese ham), fish, snacks, sweets, handicrafts, gifts, toys, clothes, and other grocery and decoration items.

Taiwanese traditionally purchase peanuts and pistachios for the Lunar New Year holiday. (Image: Billy Shyu / Nspirement)
Taiwanese traditionally purchase peanuts and pistachios for the Lunar New Year holiday. (Image: Billy Shyu / Nspirement)

In addition to purchasing Lunar New Year items, many locals and foreign visitors also visit the old street to experience the traditional New Year shopping atmosphere and to taste the sheer array of free samples of peanuts, pistachios, dried squid, candies, soups, cakes, and other treats.

Taipei Jianguo Holiday Flower Market is the most popular destination for purchasing flowers for the Lunar New Year in Taipei. (Image: Billy Shyu / Nspirement)
Taipei Jianguo Holiday Flower Market is the most popular destination for purchasing flowers for the Lunar New Year in Taipei. (Image: Billy Shyu / Nspirement)

As many Taiwanese believe flowers are symbolic of happiness, wealth, prosperity, and fortune, it is one of the important items that local people tend to buy before the Lunar New Year Eve. Taipei Lunar New Year Floral Bazaar (台北新年花市) at the Jianguo Holiday Flower Market (建國假日花市) is a popular destination for a wide variety of flowing bouquets. It was established in 1982 under the sponsorship of the Taipei City Government and the Taipei Farmer’s Association.

There are a wide varieties of beautiful flowers and plants sold at the floral bazaar in Taipei. (Image: Billy Shyu / Nspirement)
There are many varieties of beautiful flowers and plants sold at the floral bazaar in Taipei. (Image: Billy Shyu / Nspirement)

Spanning over 2 acres (8,000 sq. meters) and stretching 0.3 miles (almost half a kilometer), the Taipei Jianguo Holiday Flower Market is not only the most famous floral bazaar in Taiwan, but also one of the largest outdoor flower markets in the world.

The Mscot Rat made of flowers at Taipei Jianguo Holiday Flower Market. (Image: Billy Shyu / Nspirement)
A rat made of flowers at Taipei Jianguo Holiday Flower Market. (Image: Billy Shyu / Nspirement)

There are over 200 booths in the market, spanning both sides of an entire block beneath the bustling Taipei Jianguo overpass. A massive array of beautiful flowers, plants, bonsai trees, and other Lunar New Year items, as well as gardening items, are sold at affordable prices from January 18 to 24.

An art installation featuring the Chinese zodiac sign of the rat at a shopping mall in Taipei's Xinyi Commercial District. (Image: Julia Fu / Nspirement)
An art installation featuring the Chinese zodiac sign of the rat at a shopping mall in Taipei’s Xinyi Commercial District. (Image: Julia Fu / Nspirement)

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Billy Shyu
Billy has a liking for the beauty of nature and authentic traditonal culture. He has published over 100 articles on the beauty of Taiwan, traditional culture, and other interesting topics. He will continue to share more interesting articles with our readers
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