Noise Annoys: Chinese New Year in Taiwan

Ah yes, Chinese New Year…one of (thankfully) only three times of the year that religion in Taiwan becomes highly annoying.  However it doesn’t come in the form of proselytizing; rather, it’s the fireworks going off at all hours without warning.

It wouldn’t be so bad if it were limitations on it.  The firework displays organized by federal and local governments happen in specific places and at specific times (for example, at Taipei 101 in Taipei at midnight this past Saturday, six kilometres from my home as the crow flies).  I could plan to either stay home inside solid walls or leave town because I know in advance.

The real annoyance is the noise polluters, the inconsiderate scum who light firecrackers indiscriminately at all hours, in back alleys and on streets, and up to two weeks before and after the holiday in question. Fireworks give me headaches comparable to migraines and they don’t go away for days.

“Culture” does not justify using noise as a weapon nor being inconsiderate to others.  There need to be legal restrictions on when and where fireworks are used for the same reason that many on FtB have spoken about church bells.  Not just in Taiwan at CNY, but anywhere and on any holiday.

The missive, “The right to swing a fist ends at another person’s nose,” applies to physical violence, but the same should be true of audible violence: The right to make loud noise ends at another person’s ear drums.


  1. Steve Watson says

    In England it is noticeably better than ~ten years ago. I moved in where I am on November Fifth eighteen years ago. I only remember exactly because it sounded like ‘ing Beirut. This used to go on for at least a fortnight before hand. It is down to three – four days now. Still not good enough but banning “mortar” fireworks has made things a lot quieter.

    Not quite tangentially, the public display on Guy Fawkes’ in Stockport has been taken over by an Xtian radio station and subjects everyone within a half-mile radius to ‘ing awful Xtian “rock” for several hours before the actual display. Ugh!

    By the way the link for the “Sun” directs to the “Independent” link below it. I presume yoo are the Leftoverunder who posted the same links on on The Orbit blog “Seriously?”, the link there works.

    JUst found your blog. I’m delighted to see a less heated environment than usual for FtB and Taiwan is a country I’m quite interested in. Good egg, keep it up, and tah very much. 🙂