Celebrating Christmas in Taipei, Taiwan

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I have a little secret to share: While I continue to report on locales across Latvia and Europe, for the past few months those dispatches have been sent from the tropical island of Taiwan. Technology is amazing, no? Although I missed Riga terribly at first, Taipei has charmed me with its fascinating mix of cultures and religions. Buddhism, Taoism, Confucianism and Christianity coexist peacefully, with temples, churches and shrines tucked in every nook and cranny. Although Christians make up just 4% of the island’s population, the Christmas holiday is widely embraced. The friendly people of Taiwan love all things cute, including Santa and Rudolf!

churches in taipei

Christmas decorations around Taipei range from the adorable (an inflatable Canadian moose) to over-the-top consumerist (an electric beer bottle topped with a star). Santas can be found shimmying up palm trees and strings of twinkle lights brighten the balmy December nights. With snow only a remote possibility in these parts, I give the Taiwanese a lot of credit for creating such a festive atmosphere!

Christmas at the Taipei Zoo

taipei love sign

Creepy anime Santa outside the Miramar Entertainment Park.

santas in palm trees

heineken christmas

Surprisingly, I was able to get my European Christmas market fix at the Strasbourg Christmas Market in Taipei. 15 wooden cabins were set up in a plaza under the shadow of the Taipei 101 and stocked with everything from mulled wine and pastries to embroidered dish towels and woolen hats. I wasn’t able to purchase any French treats, as all the tickets for the event had been sold out, but was content to wander under the vibrant illuminations and soak up the holiday cheer.

taipei 101 christmas market

christmas in taipei

While I decided to forgo getting a tree for my apartment, I did stock up on colorful poinsettias at the local flower market. Considering they cost less than US$5 a pop, how could I resist? Taipei’s Jianguo Weekend Flower Market is a veritable treasure trove of seasonal plants and lawn decor. It’s also a great place for watching locals push their pampered pooches around in baby strollers. Yup, that’s a thing!

taipei weekend flower market

taipei weekend flower market

dogs of taiwan

One thing Asia does exceedingly well is seasonal desserts. Meticulously embellished with vivid details, these confections are almost too pretty to eat! Krispy Kreme’s red Santa donuts filled with dark chocolate pudding were my favorite, though the green matcha cakes filled with red bean paste were a close second. (This was a surprise as I didn’t think I liked red bean paste. I guess tastes change!)

krispy kreme christmas donuts

reindeer bread

fancy cakes taiwan

Where are some of your favorite places to celebrate the holidays?

Do you want to see more photos from around Taiwan?

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Celebrating Christmas in Taipei, Taiwan

6 thoughts on “Celebrating Christmas in Taipei, Taiwan

  1. I went to Taipei in September and I absolutely loved it. It has charmed me with its fascinating mix of cultures and religions as well. I’m glad you had the same experience. Merry Christmas from CHINA X

    • Happy New Year, Agness! I’m sorry I missed you when you were in Taipei! I’ve been here since August. Such an interesting place! Hope you are enjoying your time back in China 🙂

  2. Beautiful photos, Heather! I’m so glad to see that you have found so many great places and things in your new home. Hope you have a wonderful Christmas, and happy new year! xo

    • Thank you, Deena! Exploring Taipei’s many charms has done wonders for my well being. And the mild weather certainly helps 😉

      Happy new year to you and M! I hope to see you both in the spring!

  3. What a great blog. Love all the pictures. I can’t wait to get over there and explore all the interesting places you post. Krispy Cream Donuts? I’ll be in fat heaven. Happy New Year!!!

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