Editorial: New year’s celebration brings a new hope

Taipei’s New Year Countdown Party has become one of the most popular New Year’s Eve activities in Taiwan. This year, it attracted more than 800,000 people to celebrate and welcome 2013 together and wish the future filled with new hopes.

Taipei’s New Year Countdown Party has become one of the most popular New Year’s Eve activities in Taiwan. This year, it attracted more than 800,000 people to celebrate and welcome 2013 together and wish the future filled with new hopes.

But the pricey countdown events sparked fierce controversy last year since some people thought the New Year Eve’s activities are a waste of public money.

Minister of Finance Chang Sheng-ford suggested that local cities should cancel the New Year Eve’s parties and firework shows and use their budgets more carefully because Taiwan has been struggling with low economic growth.

However, Taipei Mayor Hau Lung-bin, Taichung Mayor Jason Hu and other local governors did not agree with Minister Chang, saying that the countdown parties always attract huge crowds and have great potential to boost the local economy. Hau also insisted that the annual event has enhanced Taipei’s international reputation.

Indeed, due to the Taipei 101 fireworks shows, Taipei’s countdown celebration was selected by CNN as one of the 10 best places in the world to “see in the new year in style.” The countdown party and the 101 fireworks show have become a signature new year celebration in Taiwan.

We understand Minister Chang’s concern because each Taiwanese shoulders an average national debt of $7,465 in 2012, which shows the country’s public debt and budget deficit has been a heavy burden and will not be solved in the short term. In the view of the current economic situation, holding costly countdown parties is not a necessary expense.

Yet, canceling countdown parties and asking people not to watch the fireworks shows is too extreme, because all the countdown events and fireworks displays bring new hopes to people. In a society suffering from economic recession, people need some entertainment and stimulation to pump them up. In the end of the year, when fireworks shine on our faces, we can see a bright future ahead of us.


Phoebe Fan graduated from the University of Washington with a Master’s degree in Cultural Studies. She is interested in any cultural issues from ancient Chinese literature to contemporary Western fashion.

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