Lunar New Year is the season for appreciating camellias Travelers flock to Cingshueiyan Temple 新春賞茶花 清水岩寺嬌客到

Sat, Jan 28, 2012 - Page 9

Lunar New Year is the season for appreciating camellias. Coinciding with the Lunar New Year vacations, Cingshueiyan Temple in Changhua County’s Shetou Township will be holding the nation’s most splendid camellia exhibition. Sixty precious camellia trees will be in bloom and their bright colors are sure to please visitors.


With the support of Changhua County’s Cultural Affairs Bureau, Cingshueiyan Temple holds a camellia exhibition every year. This year’s exhibition will start on Jan. 30, the eighth day of the first lunar month, and run until the end of the Yuanxiao Festival on the 15th day, which falls on Feb. 6 this year. Sixty pots of exquisitely colored, precious camellia trees were prepared for the exhibition on Jan. 5, and many visitors who had come to the temple to worship caught an early glimpse of them. They all praised the camellias and said it was a truly eye-opening experience because they had never seen camellia trees with such robust trunks and branches with such rich colors.


These camellia trees are from the Taiwan Camellia Society Chairperson Huang Chun-long’s collection. Thanks to his careful attention, they have all matured into breathtakingly beautiful, colorful and considerably valuable trees.


These generous gifts however made temple officials extremely worried. Chen Ching-fu, head of the temple committee, said he was afraid that thieves may come around and that the first two days the pot plants were delivered, he was so worried that he could not sleep all night and kept getting up out of bed to check on them. However, Huang calmly said that having statues of the Buddha next to the trees was the best form of security they could have, adding that the police also regularly patrolled the area and that thieves would essentially be walking into a trap if they dared to steal them.


An opening ceremony for the camellia exhibition at Cingshueiyan is planned for Jan. 30. The opening ceremony will be attended by several famous calligraphers, such as Chao Tsung-song, who will showcase their skills and give out spring couplets. It will also feature performances such as dancing heavenly generals and traditional drumming and lion dancing. (Liberty Times, Translated by Drew Cameron)