For 10 straight wins of one of the “12 Festivals of Hakka Towns” by the Hakka Affairs Council and the only “Dapu Dialect” Hakka festival in Taiwan, the festival will be starting from 3/2 to 3/4. This year the activities include 72kg traditional Xin Ban Ding exhibition, red turtle cake challenges, casting moon blocks, begging for babies, begging for Wenchang God, throwing firecrackers and Hakka group performances. To welcome the upcoming 2018 Taichung International Flora Expo, “Stork” flower decorated float is created to join other 15 parade groups from Taiwan and around the world to give best performances.
The media press at city hall today (23) by Dongshih District Office started by the performance of traditional Hakka songs and Hakka folk songs by Hakka song performers of Dongshih Elementary School who won the 2nd place at national Hakka song contest. Accompanied by Civil Affairs Bureau Director Zhou Yong-hong, Dongshih District Chief Xu Pei-ling, Mayor Lin Chia-long cut slice a 72 kg gigantic Xin Ding Ban red turtle cake, indicating the beginning of the festival. The press is witness by the delegate of Legislator Jiang Qi-hong’s service office, delegate of city councilman Chen Zheng-xian and many borough chiefs.
Mayor Lin indicated that Taichung is sharing very special Chinese New Year with abundant Hakka culture. Every year from the 1st to 15th of January of Lunar Calender, the lively atmosphere is everywhere. As one of the Hakka Affairs Council “12 Festivals of Hakka Towns” for 9 straight years and voted online Top1 festival in 2016, this year the Xin Ding Ban Festival at Dongshih brings local culture, gourmet, tourism and travel altogether, making the CNY even more jubilant.
As per Mayor Lin, this year the Xin Ding Ban Festival hosted by Dongshih District Office shares good connection to the local culture. Also “Tian Chuan Ri”, Granduncle Liyu Culture Festival and Luban Culture Day are raised with President Tsai’s “Hakka Romantic Avanue” policy to promote Hakka culture. Meantime the Flora Expo in Taichung is expected to collaborate with Shan Cheng, inviting people to enjoy the sound of blooming, and experience the abundance and beauty of Hakka culture.
Mayor also mentioned that the origin of Xin Ding Ban Festival is quite special. There are many Hakka farmers in Shan Cheng area. After a year of hard working in farms and some harvests, during the New Year season, wishes will be made and upon it comes true, “Mi Ban” will be made as to return votive offering. In addition, in a farming society, strong boys are more desired for hard works, therefore a new “Ding Ban” is created. As time changes, now there is a fuchsia version of Mi Ban as a symbol of gender equality and the connection of tradition and innovation of culture.
As per Dongshih District Office, for the design of Dongshih Xin Ding Ban Festival, international designer Leslie Chen created installations inside Tungshih Hakka Museum and on both sides of Wenhua Street based on a visual design of “Xin Ding Ban”. At the Dongshih entrance of Dongshih Bridge, a 400 cm height grand installation and wooden sculpture “Xin Ding Ban” are placed to give a modern look to the bridge.
On 2/24 and 2/28 Open-air Theatrical Performance will be played by Quan Le Ge Puppet Troupe and Ming Hwa Yuan at Shicheng Fu Xing Temple and Granduncle Liyu Park; 3/1 – 3/3 at main stage of Tungshih Hakka Museum, “The Story of North Emperor – Xuan Wu” by Ming Hwa Yuan, on the day of Lantern Festival, “The Story of Salt Urn” by Rong Xing Hakka Troupe; on the 3rd day, Hakka singer Liu Shao-xi and Hunag Lian-yu will be singing for the festival. Meantime Abibai, ZAX, Hongyun Women Music Association Choir, Zhong Ruan Class of Dongshih District Farmers' Association and Dajia River’s Voice will bring traditional Hakka songs, mountain songs and modern pop music to celebrate Xin Ding Ban Festival.
To welcome the 2018 Taichung International Flora Expo, communities created a “Stork” flower decorated float that symbolizes having a new son to a family to participate the parade at 10:00 3/3 with 15 other groups from Taiwan and around the world. “Xin Ding Ban Happiness Pass Down” allows people to make red turtle cakes.
3/2 – 3/3 for two days there will be an exhibition of 72 kgs of traditional Xin Ding Ban red turtle cake at Tungshih Hakka Museum, group challenge of red turtle cake making and Xin Ding Ban Happiness Pass Down, etc.; around Wenhua Street a red turtle cake individual challenge, begging for babies and returning votive offering, begging for Wenchang God, casting moon blocks, throwing at firecracker fort, etc. Tungshih hospitality is welcoming everyone to a lively event.
3/2 – 3/4 at Tungshih Hakka Museum, 3/2 – 3/3 at Wenhua Street, local artists, young designers, Hakka groups and community mommy classroom will gather to sell cultural products, DIYs, central agricultural products and Hakka specialties at stalls. The event features and promotes local cultures and art atmosphere. Visit Dongshih Xin Ding Ban Festival of Taichung http://www.tcsdb.com.tw/index.php for more information.