Sat, Oct 20, 2018 - Page 3 News List

Tainan rice festival features cute crop formations and DIY

By Wang Han-ping and Jake Chung  /  Staff reporter, with staff writer

Mascot Gunma-chan from Japan’s Gunma Prefecture and mascot Yummy from the Shihan community in Tainan on Wednesday take shape in a rice paddy pattern created for the Tainan Rice Festival.

Photo courtesy of Tainan Department of Agriculture

Rice paddy patterns at the Tainan Rice Festival feature mascots Gunma-chan from Japan’s Gunma Prefecture and Yummy from the Shihan (仕安) community in Tainan’s Houbi District (後壁), the district office said, inviting travelers and aerial photography enthusiasts to visit the field design, which is to open to the public today.

District office head Wong Chen-hsiang (翁振祥) said he hoped the paddies with the mascot patterns would become a hotspot for tourism this fall.

Now in its seventh year, the festival promotes rice grown in the region and aims to combine tourism with agriculture, Tainan Department of Agriculture official Kuo Te-wei (郭德偉) said.

Different types of rice were planted in the fields to create the patterns, Kuo said, adding that the event runs through Nov. 11.

On weekends, visitors can not only enjoy the view, but are also invited to taste the rice and to join do-it-yourself (DIY) workshops, including making rice cakes, sushi and mochi, Kuo said.

Other events include carving, figurine-painting and rice planting, Kuo said, adding that visitors would be invited to taste the area’s tangerines, which are in-season.

Gunma-chan mascots would also be walking around on site, the district office said, adding that the mascot’s use has been authorized by the Gunma Prefectural Government

The Shihan community has also arranged a small performance that highlights the community’s goal of developing non-toxic agriculture, the district office said.

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