Tung Blossom Festival showcases Hakka culture
By Alan Fong, The China Post April 16, 2010, 3:29 pm TWN
Gradually, the rich Hakka culture and the beauty of the Hakka areas during the Tung blossom season has started to draw visitors from all over Taiwan and even abroad to the festival. In total, the festival attracted more than 10 million visitors over the years and generated tremendous economic support to the local community.
The highlight of the 2010 festival is the four big cultural events and 14 free-of-charge "Under the Tung Tree Concerts" (桐花樹下音樂會). The first cultural event, the official opening of the festival, "2010 Hakka Tung Blossom Festival Opening Ceremony" (2010客家桐花祭開幕式), will be held April 17 at the Miaoli Shangrila Paradise (香格里拉樂園). The ceremony will include a Hakka ritual worship to the Mountain God, music performances by Hakka singers and award ceremony for the "Tung Blossom Star Singing Competition" (桐花之星音樂大賽).
On April 24, the Hsinchu County Mystery Forest Resort (神秘國度森林渡假村) will host a forest carnival for the festival, which includes performances by star singers Pin Guan (品冠), Luo Si-rong (羅思容), Xu Jie-ren (許仁杰), the Zhumeng Dance Troupe (築夢舞集), Chai Found Music Workshop (采風樂坊) as well as traditional Hakka lion dancing.
Meanwhile, the Kunlun Herb Plant Tourism Garden (崑崙藥用植物園) in Taoyuan will host the Natural fragrance of Tung Blossoms concert on April 25 featuring Forum Music (十方打擊樂團), a candidate for the Best Traditional World Music Album of the Grammy Awards, The Chairman and a performance of singer Xie Yu-wei (謝宇威) among others.
Parents are especially welcomed to bring their children to the "Parents and Children in the Wonderland" (親子遊仙境) event on May 1 at the Ta Shee Blooming Oasis (大溪花海農場), featuring renowned children program host Zhang Shan-wai (張善為), better known as the Brother Happy (黑皮哥哥), If Kids Theatre Company (如果兒童劇團) and Momo Channel's children program stars Sister Peach (小蜜桃姊姊) and Sister Jelly (果凍姊姊),Brother Caramel (焦糖哥哥), Sister Vanilla (香草姊姊) and Tung Blossom Figures.
The "Under the Tung Tree Concerts" include 10 outdoor and 4 indoor performances in Nantou, Miaoli, Hsinchu, Taoyuan and Changhua.
To further enhance the specificity of the Tung Blossom Festival and to reward visitors, the council is issuing 30,000 Hakka Card (好客卡), which can be translated as "Good Hakka Card" or "Guest Welcoming Card" with a pun on the character "客" (meaning guest/Hakka), to the 2010 festival. Holders of the Hakka Cards are entitled to special offers and discounts at special Hakka restaurants, shops, hotels and other services.
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