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回顧星期天LBS - 節慶相關時事趣聞 All about festivals

· 每日跟讀單元 Daily English

Topic: About Christmas: Make your own Christmas tree with these money-saving hacks


Most people agree that decorating for the holidays isn’t cheap, especially in Asia. There is, therefore, little wonder that an increasing number of people have decided to make this Christmas season extra special by doing a lot of crafts on their own.


There’s something magical about turning something ordinary into something special, and there’s no better way to display your creations than on your Christmas tree.


Many ideas are shared online and through money-saving Facebook groups such as “On a Budget.” The members show people how to create a Christmas tree out of just garlands, lights and a wooden frame.


There are many photos that show some crafty methods of creating a tree by simply wrapping the green evergreen-like garland around the triangle-shaped wood frame.


The end result is a stunning, perfectly shaped wall-mounted Christmas tree. “What a great idea this looks fantastic,” one person wrote. Another said: “Great for anyone who has a small room.”


In addition to appealing to people who may not have room for an actual tree, the hack is also useful for those who do not want to spend money on Christmas decor that is only good for a few weeks.


“Shows what you can do with imagination and a small budget,” one person wrote. Others shared their own versions of the hack, showing just how festive and easy it can be.

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Topic: Chimei Museum to hold pre-Christmas celebrations on weekends 超浪漫!奇美博物館超大聖誕樹成熱門打卡地


Christmas is around the corner and local department stores have already installed their Christmas decorations and set up large Christmas trees to attract the attention of shoppers. If you are living in Tainan, you should know that The Chimei Museum has also installed a 13-meter-high Christmas tree on its Muse Plaza. The tree lights up from 5:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. every day. The installation is the perfect match to the western architecture of the museum which has become one of the top destinations for celebrating Christmas in southern Taiwan.


In addition, the Royal Christmas Market boasts 70 specialty stalls on the weekends on Dec. 14-15 and 21-22nd from noon to 10 p.m., selling various delights, drinks and Royal family’s favorite pastry.


What’s more? There will also be music feasts over the weekends. Some award-winning musicians are invited to play Christmas-themed jazz and orchestra music during the celebrations.

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Topic: Dihua Street’s Lunar New Year market

Every year, in the two-week run up to the Lunar New Year break, businesses along Taipei’s Dihua Street hold a special Lunar New Year specialties market.


The store-lined roads, with outside stalls laden with New Year dried fruits, candies, spiced drinks and meat jerkies, are packed with people anxious to stock up for the holiday.


The weather was cold on Wednesday, but mercifully sunny to take the bite from the cold, and the air was full of anticipation and festive spirit.


The sellers themselves, wearing matching Lunar New Year jackets and tops in each individual stall, were all in a jovial mood, smiling and joking with the customers as they handed out free samples and took their money.


The shoppers were dressed up warm, some in casual clothes, some in their best suits for the occasion; there were monks and foreigners and photographers and mothers bringing their children, as well as pet owners, carrying their dogs on their shoulders or pushing them along in pet pushchairs. There was one guy walking his pet pig — he’d had it for five months, he said — which had its snout pressed to the ground, hoovering the tarmac for fallen sweets, treats or dried meats.


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Topic: EPA steps up checks for carcinogenic industrial dye in Mid-Autumn mooncakes

With the Mid-Autumn Festival nearly upon us, bakery shelves are heaving with a vast array of appetizing mooncakes in a mind-boggling variety of shapes, sizes and flavors. For many Taiwanese gourmands, the venerable egg yolk pastry is a special favorite. However, in the past some unscrupulous businesses were discovered to have added the harmful industrial dye Sudan Red G to their egg yolk pastries to give the salty egg yolks a rosy-red luster. Sudan Red G was classified as a toxic chemical by the Environmental Protection Administration (EPA) in July 2018. The administration says it has been carrying out inspections since the ban but has not discovered any illegal use of Sudan Red G. However, with increased demand for egg yolk pastries during the festive season, the administration says it will intensify inspection work during the period.


In the past, some egg farms would add the carcinogenic substance to duck feed in order to give their salted duck eggs a deep color and luster. In 2017, the illegal use of Sudan Red G was detected in an online retailer’s salted egg yolk mooncakes. The poultry farm which supplied the egg yolks was required to cull its duck population and destroy its stock of duck eggs. Fraud charges were also brought against the farm. The following year, the EPA classified Sudan Red G as a category 4 toxic chemical.


Sudan Red G is in fact an umbrella term for a series of related chemical dyes that sound similar but have different molecular structures, chiefly Sudan Red I, II, III and IV, and Sudan Red 7B and G. Because the molecular structure of the Sudan Red G dye is easily soluble in oils, it is often used in industrial settings such as colorant in furniture paint, shoe polish, floor wax, car wax and oils to give products a rich color and luster.


Sudan Red G’s unique properties — inexpensive, easy-to-obtain, stable, and color-fade resistant — mean that it often crops up in food safety incidents. In addition to salted egg yolks, outside of Taiwan Sudan Red G has been found to have been added to chilli sauce and chilli powder; however, the group of dyes with which Sudan Red G shares a common molecular structure are listed as category 3 carcinogens by the International Agency for Research on Cancer.


EPA Toxic and Chemical Substances Bureau Director-General Hsieh Yein-rui advises consumers not to choose food products that appear overly vivid and bright, or that look unnatural. Hsieh adds that the nutritional value of egg yolks is the same whether they are yellow or red in color, and warns that customers who select egg-containing products on the basis of their bright luster may well be consuming adulterated egg yolks.

環保署毒物及化學物質局長謝燕儒呼籲,消費者不要挑選顏色過於鮮豔、看起來不自然的食品,且蛋黃不論是黃色或紅色營養價值都一樣,過度在意色澤,反而可能吃進「加料」的蛋黃。Source article:

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