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Snow in April – Hakka Tung Blossom Festival in Chiayi City

  • PostDate:2021-04-22

April 17, 2021

Civil Affairs Department / Tourism and Information Department

 

        Hundreds of tung blossom in Yuanlinzai Neighborhood of Houzhuang Village, Chiayi City are in bloom. The white petals that cover the tree twigs resemble snow in April. Along with the neighborhood, Chiayi City Government and Hakka Affairs Council organized “Tung Blossom in Chiayi” for people to appreciate its beauty. There are also 300 tung blossom paper windmills arranged that read “52+14” as a pun of “I love Chiayi City” in Mandarin.

        Mayor Ming-hui Huang is grateful for the attendance of Kong-zhao Zhong, the deputy minister of Hakka Affairs Council, and his support for the event in Chiayi City. Chiayi City is a small yet pretty city. Every citizen works hard and treats people with hospitality, which shows the harmony of different ethnicities. Chiayi City is always their home as long as one acknowledges this land and respects the differences of the diverse cultures.

        Yuanlinzai Neighborhood started dedicating itself into community development 10 years ago and all of the residents agreed to offer their own places to plant tung trees, Huang mentioned. With the resources provided by Hakka Affairs Council afterwards, the neighborhood has successfully become one of the venues for the Hakka Tung Blossom Festival. Tung blossom is a symbol of the toughness and diligence in Hakka culture. Standing under the tung trees in bloom, one can experience and feel closer to the unique culture of Hakka people.

        Chiayi City canceled the Hakka Tung Blossom Festival last year due to the pandemic. Although the situation has gotten better, Huang still reminds people to wear masks, keep social distance, and wash hands.

        As the host, Huang introduced to Zhong that Chiayi City is also known as the city of wood, the city of paintings, and the city of wind orchestra. Guo-an Li was invited to guide Huang and Zhong to give a performance for the opening ceremony with the smallest trumpets in the world.

        According to Civil Affairs Department, the Yuanlinzai Neighborhood consists of 8 areas: Yuanlinzai, Yuanding, Dongbian, Liujiaozai, Huiyaozai, Mupu, Dingcuo, and Xiacuo. Xiacuo is a Hakka village built 80 years ago where people used to grow tobacco and farm for livings. The residents one day decided to plant tung blossom at their place for their dream. Tung blossom used to be one of the main profit crops for Hakka people, and it’s a symbol of Hakka people because of its strong vitality.

        The City Government collaborates with Yuanlinzai Neighborhood and the residents have agreed to open the area for visitors every year during the season when the tung blossom is in bloom. Half of the flowers are in bloom and it’ll keep going until the end of April. Apart from the tung blossom, there are also pink showers and blue jacaranda for people to see.

        There are around 18 thousand Hakka people in Chiayi City. There were free neighborhood tours in the morning and in the afternoon. The Hakka Tung Blossom Fair and street performances also allowed visitors to learn more about the Hakka culture.