Expat Christmases in Taiwan

Published:  8 Dec at 6 PM
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Tagged: USA, UK, Euro, England
The Christmas holiday is a good time to check out your chosen expat destination, as there’ll be lots going on and you’ll get a chance to blend in with the local expat community.

Christmas is celebrated in some way in many Asian countries as it’s a time for being with family and gift-giving even in non-Christian lands. The Buddhist island of Taiwan is no exception, although it has to be said the weather is far warmer than in the UK, most of Europe and the northern USA. Christmas isn’t a national holiday here, but it’s a cause for events and celebrations in which everyone takes part, including the Christian minority.

Taiwan has a sizeable expat community, the vast majority of whom will be celebrating at parties and get-togethers, and their children will be enjoying all the traditional Christmas events at their schools. For expatriates, Christmas can be tough as friends and families may be far away in the home country, but there’s plenty to do and enjoy in Taipei.

One favourite is Christmasland in New Taipei City, a huge areas turned into a Winter Wonderland complete with a massive decorated Christmas tree, an equally massive market and a fair with rides for all the family. Carol singers are all around and the decorations are simply stunning.

For expats and visitors who love spoiling themselves with endless sticky cakes, gingerbreads and other examples of novelty baking skills, the city’s cafes are rolling out all-time favourites and special treats. Gingerbread houses are for eating or simply for admiring as a decoration, and can be found all over the city. Bars and pubs popular with the expat community all hold parties over the Christmas weekend, including seasonal drinks, festive food and music.

Taiwan is home to a number of Christian churches, all of which hold carol services, and many also organise carol-singing visits to orphanages and prisons around the island. One must-see is the now famous small lane in Beitou district where the householders smother the entire street with fairy lights and other decorations. Other attractions include the Christmas Festival with its kid-friendly activities and this year’s ‘Frozen’ theme.
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