Events of the Month: March highlights in Taiwan

Posted by FRNCi | | Events of the Month

It’s official. March is here. The New Year holidays have passed, so did the school winter break, and once again you find yourself stuck between the reality and the same old routine life. The key is to find the balance between the monotony and excitement. The truth is, you don’t need a big event to go out there and find some joy, even though it is always nice to have one. In fact, there is few you should mark down on your calendar. However, the true uniqueness and beauty of Taiwan lie in the unlimited number of choices of activities you can do regardless of the season, day of the week, or in most cases even the hour.

1. Taipei Azalea Festival (3/1 - 3/31)

Source:2017台北杜鵑花季 Taipei Azalea Festival

With spring just around the corner, a colorful spectacle of blooming flowers and a breeze of fresh scent is something that is going to put you in a supremely positive mood. Unlike recent years, when the festival was organized solemnly by National Taiwan University, this year Taipei City Government stepped in to help in order to further promote azaleas among the public as the city flower of Taipei.

Throughout the festival, there will be a plenty of events organized for you to enjoy, such as the “Meeting of Flower and Music” Concert on March 11th or large-scale outdoor picnic and concert taking place in Daan Forest Park on March 18th. All this and many more fun activities are waiting for you at this year’s Taipei Azalea Festival. If you are looking for some beauty in life, the romantic scene and charm of blooming azalea flowers is exactly what you need.

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2. Taipei Holi Festival (3/12)

Photo credit: LsYuehᴴᴰ via Visual Hunt / CC BY-NC

Doesn’t matter if it’s celebrated in India, United States or Taiwan, the atmosphere and spirit surrounding this festival is always exceptional. Join the Indian community in Taiwan in celebration of the arrival of spring.

Holi, or Festival of Colors as it is commonly called, will lift your spirit and unleash your happiness. Let go of your worries for a moment and participate in the game of colors. Let your worries wash away with the tides of brightly colored powder you toss into the air. Clouds of colors dancing in the wind carry the message of love and happiness across walls, neighbors, and hearts; nobody leaves with a gloomy face.

3. Wan Jin Shi Marathon (3/19)

Source:Taiwan, one of Asia's must-see destinations!

If you love nature, travel, adventure and sightseeing, there is a marathon for you. It is the ultimate test of endurance away from the distractions of the city. The Wan Jin Shi Marathon offers an excellent opportunity without boundaries of a language barriers to test your physical limits and enjoy the mesmerizing scenery Taiwan has to offer one step at a time.

Sign up for one of a kind marathon that will take you on a trip around the most beautiful coastal scenery in northern Taiwan, where the mountains meet the sea. According to the organizers this unique large-scale competition is Taiwan’s only IAAF accredited Marathon. Sounds tempting? Find more here.

4. Purple Butterfly Valley-Two Year Butterfly Viewing event (until 3/25)

Source:Purple Butterfly Valley-Two Year Butterfly Viewing event Time for Celebration - Taiwan Tourism Events

Taking place in the Maolin Scenic Area from December to March, this event is a delight for nature lovers. Duration the winter months, the gorge becomes the home to millions of migratory Euploea butterflies. These butterflies have purple tinge in their wings, in their millions they create the most breathtaking spectacle the “Purple Butterfly Valley” effect.

People from all over the globe come to enjoy this magnificent spectacle of millions of fluttering wings. So do use this opportunity to visit the area and admire this ecological sight. I mean seriously, who doesn’t love butterflies?

5. Dajia Mazu Pilgrimage (3/24 - 4/01)

Dajia Mazu pilgrimage is perhaps the most known and spectacular religious folk celebration of this year’s March. The event usually takes place in the third month of lunar calendar, the birth month of Mazu, which happens to be also one of the most popular goddesses in Taiwan. As a patron saint of Taiwan, Mazu – the Goddess of the Sea is the most widely worshiped folk deity in Taiwan. As you may suspect, being most known and popular has its perks. Goes without a saying, the celebration is as grand and noisy as it can be and definitely worth experiencing. Of course, not many of us have the time to participate in the whole event, thus its best to go on the first or the last day, when the biggest celebration usually takes place.

Photo credit:Abilllushana1 via / CC BY-NC-ND

In 2017, the annual nine-day, eight-night pilgrimage will hold place between March 24th and April 1st. The pilgrimage’s route stretches along approx. 280 kilometers, crossing over four counties, taking off and ending up in Zhenlan Temple located in Dajia Township, Taichung County. During the procession comprised of tens of thousands of believers and worshippers, a palanquin bearing Mazu’s statue is being carried across towns and small villages, visiting local Mazu’s temples and bringing fortune and longevity to the villagers. The procession itself works as a magnet to all sorts of traditional culture art performers, giving you the opportunity to experience Taiwan folk culture at its best, with dragon dances, Chinese opera and musical performances or marital acts demonstrations being only some of the cultural exhibitions you may encounter. Yet, the most peculiar scene of the procession is seeing endless lines of people forming along the roads, kneeling allowing Mazu’s palanquin to pass over them and receive her blessing.

Photo credit:Abilllushana1 via / CC BY-NC-ND

6. Visit to a Hot Spring (All month)

With a vast amount of natural spots to explore in the close reach of major city hubs, sometimes just an hour bus or train ride away, Taiwan is the dream spot for nature lovers. What first comes to mind are the mind-blowing mountain terrains, coastal cliffs, and beaches. Aside from spectacular views, however, the island has yet one more thing to offer – hot springs! If you have been here long enough or flipped through the pages of any travel guide, you probably know that Taiwan, with a high concentration and variety of thermal springs, tops as a hot spring destination in world rankings. Taiwanese springs range from hot springs to cold springs, mud springs, and seabed hot springs and have now undeniably become a part of the local culture.

Lisong Hot Springs (栗松溫泉) | Photo credit: 樂樂。樂弟。樂無窮 via VisualHunt / CC BY-NC-SA

Depending on where you are located, the most famous resorts in northern Taiwan include Beitou and Wulai. On the east coast, Yilan, Hualien and Taitung, west side of Taiwan is known for resorts around Taichung and the muddy Guanziling hot spring in Tainan. If you happen to travel to Green Island located east coast of Taiwan, you can indulge yourself in a seawater hot spring by the ocean, listening to the sound of waves crashing onto the rocky shores.

Chaojih Hot Spring on Green Island | Photo credit: D'neXT via / CC BY-NC-ND

Which one will you go for this month? A revitalizing thermal bath in the midst of a great scenery or a spectacular religious celebration? The decision is yours.

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