Tag Archives: Chinese New Year

Chinese New Year 2014!

And what a New Year it was!  The best weather ever ever ever, certainly ever since I ever remember – it was wonderful!  Praise God YES!

Started with the New Year’s Eve Banquet just up the road at Shuang-Lian Senior Care Centre, invited by my good friends Rev. and Mrs. Hsu.  Definitely the in-place to be on the night!  Over 100 tables, over 1,000 people, whole families of 4 generations, delicious food and red envelopes for all the residents – fun!

Then on New Year’s Day (Friday) to Taichung by High-Speed Rail – not easy to get a ticket, but we did! Stayed on the 8th floor at St. James’ Church, guests of Rev. Charles Chen and MaryJo and their family.  Hospitality of the highest degree.  Even spent the afternoon at Ji-Ji in Nantou County, famous for its railway station which was destroyed in the 1999 earthquake and has since been rebuilt….

Yummy yummy food food food, we ate and ate all the holiday!

In between-times, visited all my friends from past and present.  Great to see everyone! One of the highlights was joining up with my former fellow-student Fr. Joy for a special lunch with our former Chinese teacher and her daughter. Hadn’t see each other for years and years!  Another was meeting up with Rosie and her family, she had come to St. James with CMS for 6 months to replace me in 2001 while I went on home leave to the UK.  She’s still here in Taichung all these years later, married to a very handsome husband and with a gorgeous little girl and a baby on the way!  She came to the English service at St. James’ Church where I was doing the sermon….

Ah yes, and not forgetting 2 lovely families both surnamed Lai, plus church members and colleagues, past and present….

Ah, so many friends, so little time – see you all next time!

And eventually back to Taipei – spent yesterday on an outing with the SJU staff fellowship to Taipei Zoo (no time to see the panda cub, but we did see big daddy!) and MaoKong Cable Car, lunch (with a very descriptive English menu!), tea plantations and cherry blossom….

Thanking God for His many many blessings over the New Year, including sunshine ~ Happy Year of the Horse everyone!

Elephant Mountain ~ and what a view!

Found a new mountain very early this morning.  Elephant Mountain.  Feel like David Livingstone, ha ha! Except that I waited for the Taipei MRT to open a new MRT station called 象山 Shiang Shan – Elephant Mountain – so now it’s so easy to get to….

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Elephant Mountain (象山) is part of a range of small but steep hills called the Four Beasts Mountains (四獸山) to the far east of Taipei City.

Never been there before today – in fact my neighbours here are surprised to hear me say there is actually a real Shiang Shan, Elephant Mountain, and it’s not just the name of the new MRT station terminus!

Found myself up on not just Elephant Mountain but also on the ridge behind which leads to 拇指山 Muzhishan (Mount Thumb) and 九五峰 Jiu-Wu (9-5) Peak.  

There’s 3 other animal mountains in the area – tiger, leopard and lion, but they’re reserved for next visit!

Stunning views of Taipei City and especially Taipei 101…

Cherry Blossom out, and many people also out, praying at the shrines and temples (of which there are many scattered along the trails), and resting at the many shelters and seats. My favourite is the shelter made from old umbrellas tied together!

And everyone everywhere is cleaning, cleaning and cleaning – there’s hoses in action all over – the annual washing of the windows is in full swing…

Tomorrow, Thursday is Chinese New Year’s Eve – and so the festivities start tomorrow evening…  Happy New Year everyone!

Chinese New Year Shopping at Taipei Dihua Street 迪化街!

Definitely the place to be in the few weeks leading up to Chinese New Year ~ the hustle and bustle and noise and rush is not for the faint-hearted, but hey it’s fun!

Dihua Street is in one of the oldest parts of Taipei City, near the river and full of old buildings, temples and traditional shops selling tea and Chinese medicine ingredients…

Normally quite a quiet area, but for these few weeks you can buy everything you need for the festivities at good prices ~ dried everything, nuts, fruit, meats, seafoods, seeds plus sugar cane juice, sweets, a few clothes…. you name it, it’s on sale here!

Only open for 2 more days – so get there quick!

Advent Church 敬祖主日Ancestor Memorial Liturgy

Every year on the Sunday before Chinese New Year, the Taiwan Episcopal Church has special prayers and liturgy to remember our ancestors…

We give thanks to God for our ancestors, and remember the legacy they have left us, that without them we would not be where we are nor who we are…

Ancestor worship is very much part of the Chinese New Year tradition.   Christians honor, respect, give thanks and pray for their ancestors rather than worship them, and this is one way for the church to be part of that.

This was the scene yesterday at the back of Advent Church at the end of the Holy Communion service….

Ancestor worship is not just part of the Chinese New Year tradition, but for many it is a major part of their daily lives.  For those considering the Christian faith, it is also a major obstacle.  Each Christian denomination responds in different ways to this, on a sliding scale from accommodation to total rejection.  The Taiwan Episcopal Church stands at some midway point, and this is one way to express our faith in one God and our respect for those who have gone before us….