Wednesday, April 08, 2015

No Easter Bunny In Taiwan

When we made the decision to pack up our life and move it to Taiwan it was October.  The stores were full of fall decorations and Halloween.  It was easy for me to think about what I would want for the Tiny American for the following Halloween that might not be readily available in Taiwan. What I did not think about was what other holidays would come and go that are celebrated in the States that are not such a big deal here.  The first one we encountered was Easter.  They don't do colored eggs and chocolate bunnies.  I did find some overpriced, although very yummy, eggs and bunnies at Godiva.  A friend that was coming for a business trip brought some egg dye and plastic eggs for us and I was very grateful.  Obviously Z is young enough that letting the commercial aspect of Easter pass by would have been no big deal, it was more for me I guess.  I love dyeing eggs, always have.  Dyeing the eggs with my brother and sister and cousins and then hiding and hunting the eggs the next day are some of my favorite childhood memories.  Easter isn't Easter without the smell of vinegar and boiled eggs!  My mom and my aunt made holidays really special for us and I have always tried to do the same for my kids, so letting it pass by without celebrating with Z was not a real option for me. The Tiny American very quickly figured out the hunting egg part....he loves putting things in his bucket anyway so this was a normal progression for him.   The dyeing of the eggs was mostly for me.  He is still too little to really do it, but it gave us extra eggs to hide and hunt.  Next year we will be better prepared and I think he will be ready to dye eggs himself!

I love the smell!

With his bucket full!

After a very hot easter egg hunt the day before Easter with a friend.

While we were hunting eggs and eating chocolate bunnies for breakfast the locals were celebrating their own spring holiday, Ching Ming Festival, more commonly known as Tomb Sweeping Day.  This is a Chinese Holiday that is celebrated on the 15th day after the Spring Equinox.  In Taiwan it is always celebrated  on April 5 to honor the death of Chiang Kai-Shek.  This holiday celebrates the beginning of Spring.  Translated it is the Clear and Bright Festival.  It is a time to enjoy things being green and fresh.  Spring plowing and planting begins.  People get outside and enjoy family time and they honor their ancestors by cleaning up the cemeteries and grave sites.  They go to the tombs and pray, offer tea, wine and food to the ancestors, burn incense and leave paper money.  Willow branches are often placed on the graves as well as doors of their homes during this time to ward off evil spirits that may wander through during Ching Ming.

At the cemetery.  The yellow papers on the graves are joss paper, fake money.

It cracks us up to see what people carry on their scooters. This couple had 2 very large flower arrangements.  I assume they were going to the cemetery or the temple.

It actually worked out nice that our Easter and their Ching Ming all happened at the same time this year because it meant a 4 day weekend for John.  We hung out and enjoyed our new found freedom that came with his international drivers license!
Our Three Peas
Let's Talk Mommy


  1. That must have been strange in a new place with new traditions but glad you managed to dye you eggs. They look great! Interesting post to learn a bit more! xx #sharewithme

  2. I love that: Clean and Bright Festival, I hadn't heard of that tradition before. My mum used to dye eggs with us, I think it's lovely you did it for the Tiny American. I didn't do it this year, will remember next year. x #sharewithme

  3. Taiwan is near my country the Philippines! This event is like spring cleaning! Lovely to see how they celebrate spring! Thanks for sharing. #sharewithme

  4. So interesting to read what other cultures do over these days. Glad you had a lovely few days and those chocolate bunnies look delicious!

  5. Oh lovely to have the two together. I know how you feel a little just not having thanksgving here in the uk like we do back home in the states. It's different to introduce new holidays with old ones but all part of the cultures of expats too. Sounds like you still had a lovely family day. Thank you so much for linking up to Share With Me. Have a great weekend. #sharewithme