We went to an Herbal Party in Taipei!
With its vibrant culture and rich tradition, Taipei is regularly abuzz with events and festivals throughout the city for locals and foreigners alike to discover and experience different cultural aspects. Last month, we ventured out to experience some of Taiwan’s local culture together by checking out Herbal Party 2018, an event hosted in Taipei’s historical and cultural district of Dadaocheng.
Located along the Tamsui River, Dadaocheng was once Taipei’s centre of economic and cultural development. Today, many of the old buildings, a mix of Baroque-style architecture and traditional Hokkien bungalows, have been preserved and continue to embody the spirit of Taiwan’s tradition and culture. As we walked along Dadaocheng’s bustling Dihua Street, we passed bright fabric shops, quaint tea houses, and traditional Chinese pharmacies with their walls lined with jars of mysterious substances, while delicious smells rose to meet us from street vendors selling Taiwanese snacks. Here, traditional arts also continue to be practiced, with small artisan shops and galleries exhibiting different crafts. This area is a must-visit in Taipei for its true atmosphere of historic Taiwan.
The Herbal Party event was centred around celebrating traditional Chinese herb culture rooted in Chinese medicine. The outdoor event brought new life and energy to centuries-old tradition by showcasing different uses of traditional herbs beyond medicinal applications, including snacks, cocktails, and DIY crafts, all in a fun, lively environment. Highlights included sampling and combining different herbs to create our own fragrance sachets, mixing cocktails using traditional herbs and medicines, and getting henna tattoos in the designs of Chinese herbs. The event also featured a DJ, snacks (also made with Chinese herbs), and even a visit from the mayor of Taipei.
Special thanks to teachers Felicia and Juana for participating in this event, to Diane for organizing, translating, and explaining everything, and to Lian for filming the event.