Sun, Aug 26, 2007 - Page 2 News List

Yimin Festival begins in Taipei

CEREMONY Divine pigs stuffed with pudding, and bamboo poles hung with offerings to the Yimin god figured prominently in the festivities in the capital

By Mo Yan-chih  /  STAFF REPORTER

People parade along a street in Hsinchu County during the Hsinchu County Hakka Yimin Festival yesterday.

PHOTO: WANG CHIN-YI, TAIPEI TIMES

With deafening drums and horns, thousands of members of the Hakka community from 20 Yimin Temples from around the world joined together in Taipei yesterday to begin the Taipei Hakka Yimin Festival.

The event, which runs through today, marks the 20th anniversary of the festival organized by Taipei City's Hakka Affairs Department.

HAKKA CULTURE

Presiding over the events and placing temple gods on the altar, Taipei Mayor Hau Lung-bin (郝龍斌) promised to continue introducing Hakka culture through events like the festival.

"The city government has treated the Yimin Festival as one of the major cultural assets of Taipei City and we will definitely put greater efforts into promoting Hakka culture," Hau said during a ceremony in front of the Taipei City Hall.

A total of 20 "divine pigs" -- prepared by different Hakka groups with edible rice pudding or recycled materials including bamboo baskets, wood, newspapers and black buttons -- were featured in the ceremony.

SACRIFICIAL OFFERINGS

Hakka community members also shouldered bamboo poles hung with sacrificial offerings to the god of the Yimin (righteous people, 義民), a title that the Qing dynasty bestowed upon Hakkas who helped the Qing government put down an armed uprising led by Hoklos in the 1700s.

The uprising led to more than 200 casualties in Hsinchu and the bodies were buried at the Sinpu-Fangliao Yimin Temple.

CONTRIBUTIONS

In an effort to recognize the contributions of their ancestors, the Hakka community began to hold a ceremony in memory of the Yimin on the 20th of the seventh month of the lunar calendar.

Lee Rong-tang (李榮堂), director of a Taipei Hakka folk song group, urged all Hakkas to take pride in their heritage.

The festival, featuring Hakka folk song and dance performances and traditional snacks, will continue today in front of Taipei City Hall.

This story has been viewed 2474 times.
TOP top