New Taipei City cancels Chinese New Year street-shopping event

Hou You-yi (middle) is pictured in 2020 Chinese New Year’s street-shopping event. (Courtesy of New Taipei City)

TAIPEI (The China Post) — New Taipei City will cancel its annual Chinese New Year’s street-shopping event due to the pandemic, Mayor Hou You-yi (侯友宜) said on Friday.  

As the 7-day Lunar New Year holiday (Feb. 10-16) approaches, New Taipei City became the first city to cancel the popular tradition and instead encouraged citizens to buy goods from local markets to avoid crowds.  

Hou explained that New Taipei City never technically established the “tradition” and added that the Chinese New Year events held by the city had always been small in proportion.  

Besides, some stalls would be asked to set up shop in shopping centers for the time being to better cooperate with virus-prevention measures.   

The most known traditional market street, Dihua Road in Taipei City, officially will begin its annual celebration and kicked off on Jan. 28.  

However, due to the pandemic, free food samples have been prohibited by the city government.  

Some owners lamented that this would most likely drive away customers, as “food samples” and “shopping” are the whole points of the annual event.