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Hakka festival kicks off in art resort

  • Source:客家文化發展中心
  • Publication Date:2015/04/15
  • Last updated:2020/10/15
  • Count Views:712
The 2015 Hakka Tung Blossom Festival had just begun on April 11 in 14 counties and cities in Taiwan as gongs that symbolize the blooming of flowers were struck by Vice President Wu Den-yih, Minister of the Hakka Affairs Council Liu Ching-chung, Nantou County Magistrate Lin Min-chen, and lawmaker Ma Wen-chun. The main opening ceremony was held in the New Era Art Resort & Spa in Nantou. While it was drizzling, people were happy to see a full mountain of white Tung blossoms. They were even happier to enjoy the cultural and arts events afterwards. Vice president Wu especially paid tribute to President Ma Ying-jeou for passing the Hakka Basic Act and doubling the budget for the Hakka Affairs Council, so that the HAC could have promote its work with fewer difficulties and made Taiwan the new Hakka capital of the world. Wu also cordially invited the people of Taiwan to join the festival and discover the beauty of the flowers and feel the hospitality of Hakka people. While giving his speech, minister Liu noted that this year’s festival will highlight the three aspects of Tung flowers: The way they make our mountains more beautiful, the Hakka culture they represent, and the Hakka people’s vitality they symbolize. According to Liu, every year in April and May, Tung blossoms can be seen in all of the mountains of Taiwan. Their snow-white petals and dark-red pistils, when dancing in the winds, make the most beautiful scene. Tung trees were in fact an important economic crop for the Hakka people in the past. Tung wood can be made into matches and wood sandals, and Tung seeds can be pressed to make oil. Although the industry has declined now, Tung flowers still represent Hakka people’s respect to nature and their frugal attitude. They can very much be the sole symbol of Hakka culture. Also, a Tung flower has five petals and five pistils that stand for the five tastes of life, sourness, sweetness, bitterness, spiciness and saltiness. The flowers remind us that fruitful results and a fulfilled life can only be gained through hard work. Such is the Hakka philosophy. The side events on the opening day included sky-worship, a street parade, a meadow concert, a Hakka creative fair, and a pet masquerade competition. Glove puppetry, story sessions and a castle playground had also been prepared for children. Popular Hakka singer William Wei, Wing Luo and Hakka jazz band Sizhukong, rock band Zenkwun, and pop band Bon Bon Note were there to dedicate their performances. Despite the rain, local residents swarmed in to support their artists at the resort. External visitors were also there to immerse in the “snow of May” (Tung flowers) and Hakka people’s hospitality. Since 2002, the festival has been held annually for 14 years. This year, it invites visitors to “discover Hakka villages” and immerse in their nature, culture and art. A romantic pop music song “Tung Blossom Rain” has been written to draw young people’s attention to this event. All of the events will take place from now until May 17, 2015 in the 14 Hakka townships in Taiwan. Other than the main opening ceremony held at the New Era Art Resort & Spa in Nantou today (April 11), on April 18, splendid events were held at the Hexing Train Station in Neiwen. That was the first time the HAC and the Hsinchu County Government hold such an event together. A road run started first on the 18th, followed by performances by Evergreen Symphony, internationally renowned vocal artist Chien Wen-hsiu, and pop singer Jjia Jia. Athletes from around the world came to enjoy the beautiful scenery and music at once along in Hsinchu County. An HAC officer noted that the festival was initiated years ago to share the beauty of Hakka villages with people around Taiwan, and promote the landscape, culture, industry and performing art through tourism. The HAC has by now designed cultural and creative souvenirs and launched a Hakka certification system for restaurants and shops. Publicity events have been held at home and abroad. In doing so, the Hakka villages of Taiwan have enjoyed great economic growths. This year, more than 1,000 events will be held in the 14 Hakka townships by 112 local governments, private groups and schools. Together they call for all to join this grand occasion of a year. The 108 Tung blossom trails are not to be missed either. Those are where one can immerse in dancing white Tung petals.