This page focuses on public holidays in Taiwan, as well as some of the most important annual events and festivals that take place nationwide. While most shops and restaurants will still be open on these days, it’s recommended to check directly with tourist attractions in Taiwan to make sure they will be open.
In Taiwan, both Western and Chinese (lunar) calendars are used, which means that while some events are on the same day each year, others may change. If the holiday falls on a Friday, it is also quite common to move it to a Saturday so that people can still have a full working week.
January 1 – Founding Day of the Republic of China (national holiday)
Commemorates the founding of the Republic of China (Taiwan), which occured in Nanking on mainland China. New Year celebrations familiar to westerners are also on in the big cities, with Taipei 101 showing off its amazing fireworks.
February 11 – Chinese New Year’s Eve (national holiday)
Families get spring cleaning on this day, signifying the sweeping away of any misfortunes from the preceding year.
February 12 to 16 – Spring Festival (national holidays)
Also known as the Chinese New Year, and the most important holiday of the year. Most locals will spend time with family, so while the business districts will be almost empty, large festivals will be operating in towns and city neighborhoods. Note that on Chinese New Year many restaurants will close and prices for accomodation will rise significantly.
Mid-February to early March – Lantern Festival
Officially on the 15th day of the first month of the Chinese lunar calendar, the Lantern Festival involves releasing lanterns into the sky or river, as well as games and eating rice-flour dumplings in the park. Pingxi has a very well known event, but festivities are held in major cities such as Taipei, Taichung and Kaohsiung.
February 28 to March 1 – Peace Memorial Day (national holidays)
Commemorates the February 28 Incident, an anti-government uprising that occurred in 1947. Head to the 2/28 Peace Park and museum to learn more.
April 4 – Children’s Day (national holiday)
Established in recognition of human rights for children, events are held at schools across Taiwan.
15th day after Spring Equinox – Tomb Sweeping Day (national holiday)
Also known as Qingming Festival, families visit the tombs of their ancestors, make ritual offerings and clean the gravesites.
15th day of 5th Lunar month – Dragon Boat Festival (national holiday)
Cities across Taiwan hold dragon boat races, so check in at a tourism information center to find out the nearest one. There is also an annual international dragon boat competition, with teams from Taiwan and across the world.
Mid-summer (7th Lunar month) – Ghost Festival
Also known as the Zhongyuan Festival, Taiwannese people hold rituals at temples to wish for salvation from disaster and misfortune.
15th day of 8th Lunar month – Mid-Autumn Festival (national holiday)
Traditionally this event was used to celebrate the end of the harvest season. These days it’s time for friends and families to see each other, enjoying moon cakes and barbecuing together.
October 10 – National Day (national holiday)
Commemorates the Wuchang Uprising that led to the end of the monarchy in China and the eventual establishment of a republic. Many people go to see the grand military parade that occurs in central Taipei, near the Presidential Office Building.
What’s your favorite of the public holidays in Taiwan, or annual festival?