While it’s the most wonderful time of the year for many countries around the world, in Taiwan, Christmas is a much smaller ordeal.
Here, Christmas is a borrowed holiday, having been brought in with the influence of western culture. The Taiwanese enjoy the fun and festivity of glittering lights and plastic Christmas trees glistening with fake snow, especially in places such as New Taipei City’s elaborate “Christmasland” festival throughout December, which attracts young families and couples with its magical atmosphere and impressive light displays. On Christmas Day, young Taiwanese may enjoy a special dinner together and exchange gifts with their friends. However, in Taiwan, December 25 passes much like any other day of the year, with school and work carrying on as usual.
Often times, the holidays are the most difficult time for our teachers to be away from their homes and families. We asked some of our teachers to tell us about their Christmas traditions back home, as well as their experience of spending Christmas in Taiwan. While Taiwan still recognizes Christmas in its own way, for most of our expat teachers, it just isn’t the same. However, they are still able to make the most of this unique experience and find their own special ways to celebrate the holiday here in Taiwan.