Walk through the development of downtown Taipei guided by seasonal spectacular lights
Learn about the amazing connection between tradition and modern Taiwan
Participate in the capital’s sensational annual celebration to welcome the Year of the Rat
Visit the annual Taipei Lantern Festival that concludes our Lunar New Year‘s celebrations! This year, the festival is hosted by the Taipei City Government at the bustling Ximen area to welcome the Year of the Rat - which is also the start of the Chinese zodiac year cycle! From lanterns that celebrate traditional religions and cultures of Taiwan, to those that show traits of urban Taipei and the making of local communities, Taipei Lantern Festival is sure to impress all visitors. If you are interested in finding the best characteristics of historic and modern Taiwan performed through lights and lanterns, don’t miss this opportunity to stop by the Ximen area before the holiday ends, only from February 8th to 16th, 2020!
7:00PM Meet up with guide
Meeting point: Exit 1, MRT Beimen Station
Our guides are recognized with a paper fan saying "Taipei Free Walking Tour" and "Like It Formosa"!
February 8th~16th, 2020
English Tour: Every day 7:00PM
1. Exhibit: The Beginner’s Mind Is the Most Beautiful Light
As celebrations of the Lunar New Year come to an end, the people of Taiwan prepare for the Lantern Festival as the big finale of this long annual holiday. In Taipei, a unique set of lantern exhibits are here to make our capital city even more festive! Take a short walk around downtown Taipei and understand the meanings behind the Lunar New Year and Lantern Festival traditions that are observed in Taiwan - you will even learn about the tales of the Chinese zodiac through these artistic lanterns!
2. Taipei Post Office
Originally established in 1929, Taipei Post Office was set up by the Japanese troops as their military post office. During the colonization, Taipei Post Office became one of the three main mailing administrative headquarters, and the current building is essentially an extension of the original design. Right across from the Post Office, you will also find the recently renovated Beimen - the North Gate of Taipei. This very location has in fact been the transportation center of our capital city for more than a century!
3. Exhibit: Drumming Beimen
Originated from early settlements such as Monga and Dadaocheng, the development of Taipei City has now entered a new era that revitalizes historic sites such as Beimen. With the original objective to protect the city, the North Gate of Taipei "Beimen" was built as a practical bunker and front protection to Taipei City in 1884 by the Qing dynasty of China after an attempted French invasion. Interestingly after its renovation in 2017, Beimen is now regarded as "The Arc de Triomphe" of Taipei according to the current mayor Ko Wen-Je.
4. Exhibit: Happy Mouse Treasure Hunt
Find your shadow transformed into a mouse when standing underneath the streetlights - overall, it's Year of the Rat! With the projection technology, your shadow may change through different interaction!
5. Exhibit: Temple of Light
In the old-city of Monga, numerous temples stood guard over the community for centuries. This religious culture has nourished a mass production of unique crafts and arts. Here you will find abstract replicas of the Taipei Tianhou Temple and Monga Longshan Temple. The complex architecture reweaves the flow-line relationship between the protective dragons and prayer pavilions, with contemporary-style statues of deities and mythical creatures. These new-wave elements, along with Ximending’s trendy youth-culture, merge traditional belief with electric sounds and glowing lights, creating a new form of celebration for our well-aged festival.
6. Exhibit: Movie of Light
For decades, Cinema Street has been an iconic streetscape in the area of Ximending. Here you will find public movie-screen-style projections that illuminate the Ximending streetscape, with presentations of Taiwanese films throughout different eras, capturing the constantly evolving character of Ximending. Through the collaborative efforts of the curatorial team, filmmakers, and other creative-industry talents, you will also spot the different cinematic memories of Taipei City. This walk through Cinema Street will surely lead you to experience the magic of movie scene-shoots and stories that are unique to Taipei.
After a walk from the North to the West, and through the cultural as well as architectural history of old town Taipei, the tour will end at the most vibrant and buzzing Ximen area. As mesmerizing as modern metropolitans are, a city must acknowledge its pasts and traditions in order to shape a revolutionary present and future. Finally, we welcome discussions of new traditions in these festivals and the latest urban planning of Taipei City - what are YOU doing to celebrate the end of the Lunar New Year?
8:30PM Tour ends
1. This tour is operated in 3 different languages: 6:00PM Japanese / 7:00PM English / 7:00PM & 8:00PM Mandarin.
2. On-site registration is welcomed. Please meet the tour guide directly at the meeting point: Exit 1 of MRT Beimen Station. No waiting for latecomers.
3. Please wear comfortable walking shoes and bring a bottle of water if needed.
4. This tour is wheelchair, stroller and kid-friendly.
5. This tour will take place rain or shine. However, if the Taipei City Government announces a day off because of natural disasters, the tour will be canceled and you will be notified via email one day in advance.
6. In the event of emergency situations, please call the tour guides or message our Facebook Fanpage.
7. Anything not covered hereunder, the Organizer reserves the right of final modification.