TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — The 2018 New Year's flag-raising ceremony and several accompanying events will be a celebration dedicated to the people of Taiwan, according to the Office of the President and the event organizers.
With the theme of “happy together,” the flag-raising ceremony this year will be accompanied by several unprecedented activities, including a charity market and a roller skating performance.
Chen Yu-hsuan (陳幼軒), project manager at Ideaplus Corp. (集智館文化) which is organizing the side events of the flag-raising ceremony, said the charity market would be an innovative attraction intended to draw more people to participate in the flag-raising ceremony and encourage them to make donations to non-profit organizations.
Chen said foods and products in the market would not be sold for money. Instead, people will need to use receipts of their donations to charities in the past year and exchange them for tickets with which they can “buy” what they want in the market.
There will also be stalls for organizations that promote animal protection, long-term care, and other charitable work. People without any receipts can make donations on site, and then exchange their donation receipts for the goods they like.
As for the roller skating performance, the coach Tseng Ta-yu (曾大宇) told the press that a troupe of 15 would present a dance performance to hit music of the 70s and 80s, thus bringing an air of nostalgia to the day's events.
Additionally, nearly 200 people will join hands to create a chain of roller skaters along Ketagalan Boulevard, recalling an activity that was popular among young people at the ice rink decades ago.
According to the event organizers, even the performance of high school marching bands, which has been part of the traditional flag-raising ceremony, will be slightly different this year.
Chen said for the first time, the marching bands of Taipei First Girls' High School and Zhongshan Girls High School would be joined by that of Jianguo High School for a coordinated performance.
As for the singing of the national anthem, in addition to the military personnel that used to lead the ensemble, weightlifter Kuo Hsing-chun (郭婞淳), artistic gymnast Lee Chih-kai (李智凱), and other athletes who were hailed for their performances during the 2017 Summer Universiade will also take part in singing the national anthem.
The various activities involved in the New Year's flag-raising ceremony will start at 5 a.m. on January 1 on Ketagalan Boulevard right in front of the Office of the President. The gate will be opened at 4:30 a.m.
President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) will arrive at 6:20 a.m. for the flag-raising ceremony. There is no knowing as of now whether President Tsai will deliver an address.
(Photos courtesy of CNA)