Lunar New Year Shopping in Taiwan

The 2017 Dihua Street New Year Shopping Fair in Taipei City, Taiwan, is packed with shoppers. (Image: Billy Shyu/Vision Times)
The 2017 Dihua Street New Year Shopping Fair in Taipei City, Taiwan, is packed with shoppers. (Image: Billy Shyu/Vision Times)

Lunar New Year (農曆新年) is the most important Chinese festival celebrated in Taiwan. During the weeks leading up to the festival, it is the time for locals to purchase Lunar New Year fares.

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The 2017 Dihua Street New Year Shopping Fair (年貨大街) in Taipei City, Taiwan, kicks off two weeks before the Lunar New Year. (Image: Billy Shyu/Vision Times)

Located in downtown Taipei City, Dihua Street is an iconic place for people in the greater Taipei area to purchase Lunar New Year items. It is some 875 yards long and was developed in the mid-19th century as a center for commerce in Taipei for goods such as Chinese herbal medicines, fabrics, rice, and tea.

All sorts of dried mushrooms, scallops, canned abalone, mullet row (烏魚子), local delicacies are sold at the Dihua Street New Year Shopping Fair. (Image: Billy Shyu/ Vision Times)

Dried mushrooms, scallops, canned abalone, and other local delicacies are sold at the Dihua Street New Year Shopping Fair. (Image: Billy Shyu/Vision Times)

As in previous years, the Dihua Street New Year Shopping Fair (年貨大街) kicked off two weeks before the Lunar New Year. During this time, the two sides of the street are lined up with vendors selling peanuts, cashews, and pistachios, as well as different types of sweets, gifts, traditional cakes, and snacks.

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Various nuts are sold at the Dihua Street New Year Shopping Fair. (Image: Billy Shyu/Vision Times)

Vendors also sell dried mushrooms, scallops, and abalone, as well as karasumi (millet roe, 烏魚子), handcrafts, and decorations.

Please watch the following video about Lunar New Year shopping in Taiwan:

With so many abundant choices, it is difficult to know where to stop and shop. Dihua Street New Year Shopping Fair is the perfect destination to experience the festive atmosphere of the Lunar New Year in Taiwan.

Mullet roe (烏魚子) or "karasumi" is a an expensive but popular delicacy for Taiwanese and Japanese served at Lunar New Year feast. (Image: Billy Shyu/ Vision Times)

Mullet roe (烏魚子), or ‘karasumi,’ is an expensive but popular delicacy for Taiwanese and Japanese people served during Lunar New Year meals. (Image: Billy Shyu/ Vision Times)

When visiting the Dihua Street New Year Shopping Fair, one can try free samples, including various nuts, cakes, soups, candy, and snacks.

Visitors try free samples at the Dihua Street New Year Shopping Fair (Image: Billy Shyu/ Vision Times)

Visitors try free samples at the Dihua Street New Year Shopping Fair. (Image: Billy Shyu/Vision Times)

Nanmen Market (南門市場) is another hot spot for Lunar New Year’s fares in Taipei City. There are myriads of stalls selling various kinds of prepared food, dried items, Peking duck, Jinhua ham (Chinese ham), beef jerky, fresh produce, fish, snacks, and other grocery items. It is also an ideal destination for international visitors to experience the atmosphere of a traditional market and daily life of the Taiwanese people.

It is customary to eat sticky rice cakes (“nian’gao”) at the Spring Festival. (Image: Billy Shyu/ Vision Times)

It is customary to eat sticky rice cakes (nian gao) during the Lunar New Year. (Image: Billy Shyu/Vision Times)

Nanmen Market (南門市場) is another hot spot for purchasing Lunar New Year’s fares in Taipei City. There are myriads of stalls selling various kinds of prepared food, dried items, Jinhua Ham, (Chinese Ham),at Nanmen Market, Taipei. (Image: Billy Shyu/ Vision Times)

Nanmen Market (南門市場) is another hot spot for purchasing Lunar New Year’s fares in Taipei City. (Image: Billy Shyu/Vision Times)

Customers can also purchase red envelopes (紅包) and door couplets (春聯), which are put on the top and sides of a home’s main door, as well as other traditional expressions that are usually posted on doors and walls, such as “Welcome Wealth and Treasure”(招財進寶), “Happy New Year”(恭賀新禧), and the characters for “Spring”(春) and “Good Fortune”(福).

Customers can purchase door couplets (春聯), as well as other traditional expressions that are usually posted on doors and walls, such as “Welcome Wealth and Treasure”(招財進寶), “Happy New Year”(恭賀新禧), the characters for “Spring”(春), “Good Fortune”(福), etc. (Image: Billy Shyu/ Vision Times)

Shoppers can purchase door couplets (春聯), as well as other traditional expressions that are usually posted on doors and walls. (Image: Billy Shyu/Vision Times)

Additionally, the 2017 Taiwan New Year Market Fair was held at the Taipei World Trade Center from January 12 to 16. It is sponsored by the Taiwan External Trade Development Council (TAITRA).

The 2017 Taiwan New Year Market Fair is held at the Taipei World Trade Center from January 12 to 16, by the Taiwan External Trade Development Council (TAITRA). (Image: Billy Shyu/ Vision Times)

There are 100 stalls from 19 foreign countries participating in the 2017 Taiwan New Year Market Fair at the Taipei World Trade Center. (Image: Billy Shyu/Vision Times)

Among the 600 stalls participating in the fair, 100 were from 19 foreign countries. The items on display included frozen prepared food, dairy products, meat, traditional cakes, snacks, fruits, cosmetics, wine, spirits, coffee, tea, confections, health food, and exotic festive articles.

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