The annual Taipei County Folk Festival began yesterday with a lantern-lighting event in Sanjhih township.
With the theme of celebrating Hakka heritage, the festival hopes to encourage people to explore Hakka culture, the Cultural Affairs Bureau of Taipei County Government said during a meeting with the press earlier this week.
Today's opening ceremony at the Sanjhih Cultural and Historical Relics Center, will feature Hakka folk songs presented by the Sanjhih Hedychium Coronarium Koenig Chorus, a puppet show performed by the Hsueh Wan Jan Puppet Theater of Sanjhih Elementary School and Hakka crafts and historical documents exhibitions.
"Hakka people make up 40 percent of Sanjhih's population. By highlighting Hakka culture, we aim to provide a creative and culturally rich way for people to celebrate the New Year," said bureau chief Lin Po-yu (
Lin said that the festival, which has been held in Banciao for the past six years, is designed to promote the various traditional cultures in Taipei County. By taking this year's festival to Sanjhih, he hopes the events will help people better understand the Hakka culture.
To draw more people to the festival, the bureau is providing free bus service to the event from Hongshulin MRT station. The service will run from 9am to 2:30pm today and tomorrow.
In addition to various activities, visitors can also enjoy traditional Hakka food such as Hakka mochi and rice cakes during the festival. The event runs through Feb. 23, and is open from 10am to 5pm.
Festival preparatory committee member Allen Chou (
"There are quite a lot of Hakka people residing in Taipei. However, only Sanjhih has a Hakka community that still lives in the traditional Hakka way. We hope the festival will make people appreciate Hakka culture more," he said.
The festival will end with a lantern riddle activity on Feb. 23 in front of Ming Zhu Kong Wang Temple in Sanjhih township to celebrate the annual Lantern Festival.
For more information about festival activities, visit the festival's Web page at: http://www.tpc.gov.tw/post/action/2005year_festival/action.htm or call the Sanjhih Township Office at (02) 2636-2111.