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Hakka Yimin Cultural Festival to Take Place in Mid-October

The 2009 Yimin Festival celebrations in Taipei will be taking place between October 17 and October 19 at the site of the Songshan Tobacco Plant.
To celebrate this occasion, Hakka people from the city and across Taiwan will be coming to Taipei to take part in this once-in-a-year event. In addition to raising public awareness on Hakka traditions and culture, the event also serves as an opportunity for Hakka population from different parts of the world to get together and congregate.
The Hakka Affairs Commission (HAC) seeks to promote Hakka culture to the members of other ethnic groups, emphasizing the friendliness and hospitality of the Hakka populace. Through the Hakka Yimin Cultural Festival, HAC welcomes residents and visitors to come and enjoy the active and passionate nature of Hakka-hood.
According to HAC, there will be many events during the three-day-long festivity, including traditional temple processions with floats carrying “divine pigs”, outdoor operas to honor the gods, traditional Hakka concerts and performances
Major Events
On Thursday, October 8, the city government will kick off the annual Hakka Yimin Cultural Festival with a press conference and a prayer ceremony. We welcome residents to join us in praying for good fortune and prosperity for the nation and its citizens.
For those interested in religion, the divine procession will take place starting at 8:30 AM on Saturday, October 17. After welcoming nine statues of Yimin gods from temples around the island to Taipei, these divine guests will ‘patrol’ the streets of Taipei during the procession. Traditional temple parades are uncommon for cities like Taipei, and we encourage you not to miss this great opportunity!
The climax of the festival will be the massive parade with participants “shouldering the offerings.” During this event, people taking part in the parade will carry food and offerings for the Yimin gods on their shoulder, balanced upon a pole made out of bamboo shaft. HAC pointed out that there will be a record number of participants joining this year’s parade, including borough chiefs, school principals, entrepreneurs, city officials, and expatriates of Hakka heritage.
There will also be a concert featuring Hakka performance groups and singers in the evening of both October 17 and October 18.
Finally, we will bid farewell to the Yimin gods at the sending-off party on October 19. The ceremony on Monday will start at 7 AM and will feature rituals including incense offering and scripture recital, thanking the patron deities for their protection and blessing and vowing to continue to follow the path of righteousness and loyalty.