228 Peace Memorial Park – Taipei
It started with a woman selling cigarettes.
February 27, 1947: Lin Jian-Mai was peddling black market cigarettes at a portable stand on Taiping Road in Taipei, Taiwan (then Formosa), when she was caught and arrested by anti-smuggling police from the “Kuomintang” (Chiang Kai-Shek’s Nationalist Chinese government). During the arrest she yelled and struggled with the agents, who had taken her wares and her cash. As a gathering crowd watched …Read more
15 days after Chinese New Year February 6, 2012 February 24, 2013
Experience is a comb nature gives us when we’re bald.
– Chinese Proverb
If you thought Chinese New Year was big this year, guess what:
It ain’t over.
Chinese New Year celebrations last for 15 days, right up until the first full moon of the year. The fifteenth night of the first lunar month, and culmination of the party, …Read more
Double Tenth (10/10) celebrates the anniversary of the Wuchang Uprising which brought down a centuries-old dynasty in 1911.
Dozens of uprisings against the Qing Dynasty had failed between 1895 to 1911, most the work of small secret societies. What separated the Wuchang Uprising was that it originated from inside the Empire’s “New Army.”
The New Army had been created by the Emperor and his Manchu cabinet with the intention of putting down the …Read more
As the days grow shorter and colder, the Chinese celebrate Chongyang, an old festival honoring ancient people. Wait, no—an ancient festival honoring old people.
Chongyang is also known as Double Ninth. As the highest odd single number, 9 is considered especially lucky in Chinese culture. Chongyang falls on the 9th day of the 9th month of the Chinese calendar.
The tradition is so old that no one really knows how it began.
One story of the festival’s origin tells of …Read more
Before embarking on a journey of revenge, dig two graves.
Today is the (observed) birthday of the man whom many believe to be the greatest teacher ever, Master Kung, K’ung Fu Tzu. Or as he’s known in English: Confucius.
Compared to his legacy, the circumstances of his life were somewhat underwhelming.
He was born in 551 BC in Lu, China, into a poor, once noble family. His …Read more
September 12, 2011
The Mid-Autumn Festival is known as Eighth Moon because it falls of the full moon of the eighth month. It’s also known as Mooncake Day, because billions of mooncakes are prepared for this holiday. (Though billions aren’t necessarily eaten. It’s more like the Chinese holiday fruitcake.)
For generations, moon cakes have been made with sweet fillings of nuts, mashed red beans, lotus-seed paste or Chinese dates, wrapped in a pastry. Sometimes a cooked egg yolk can be …Read more
August 14, 2011 August 30, 2012 August 20, 2013
No, not those kind of ghosts.
The period of Ghost Month–the seventh month of the Chinese lunar calendar–comes to a climax on Zhong Yuan, the Hungry Ghost Festival, on the eve of the fifteenth day. During Ghost Month the gates of the afterworld open to allow the dead to walk the earth and seek food.
Families prepare meals for the departed on Zhong Yuan. Many say prayers and …Read more
7th night of the 7th month, Chinese Lunar August 6, 2011 August 23, 2012
According to Chinese tradition, when a man proposes on The Night of Sevens, his bride to be is blessed by seven fairies from the heavens that brings luck in uniting their love forever.
How To Propose on the Night of Sevens
It’s Valentine’s Day in China. But it’s not named for a 3rd century Roman saint. Today’s “Qixi” Festival (Night …Read more