Geotagged photos by MJ Klein
Hui-chen went looking on the internet for something to do, and she found this local festival in Xinpu, a township close to where we live. It coincided with the Lantern Festival, and at first I thought it was just a local Lantern Festival, but as I looked around, it seemed a little different. This festival apparently is a Lantern Festival that celebrates the Hakka People, and this area has many Hakka Taiwanese. Hakka people came from China to Taiwan a very long time ago. We have a friend who is a 9th generation Taiwanese Hakka. There was absolutely no information about the festival anywhere, so we walked around and enjoyed the carnival atmosphere.
There were lots of floats on display.
As you can see, some of them were quite elaborate.
We came to this cool display of hand painted lantern shades.
Hui-chen is pointing out the Doraemon lantern shade because Phoenix likes Doraemon.
As you can see, there were literally thousands of lantern shades on display. I got the impression that these were all done by school children.
Definitely a carnival festival going on.
Lots of vendors selling you-name-it.
Phoenix hasn’t had much experience with places like this yet.
We walked over to the rides area.
Phoenix wasn’t able to go on this inflatable slide because she is under 3 years old – even though she is already taller than many 3 year olds. Oh well.
This “pirate ship” goes back and forth. She’ll ride it later. Now it’s time for some games.
Again, the Doraemon theme going on here. You pay a small amount of money and throw the golf balls down the lanes to achieve a high score.
Of course the score doesn’t matter. Everyone is a “winner” because the price to play the game pays for the “prize” at the end. I didn’t shoot Phoenix picking out a prize here.
This is the next game. Whenever a game or a ride requires coins, I always give them to Phoenix so she can get experience putting money in the coin slot.
This is a type of pinball machine.
Phoenix won a bunch of tickets which were of course, redeemed for a prize later.
Now you’re probably wondering why I would have a photo of a porta-johnny in this article. Well, I must admit this is the first time that I saw a squat style porta-johnny. It makes total sense though, because if you do have to go #2, at least you don’t have to sit on a filthy public toilet, as squatters don’t require physical contact with the toilet itself. This photo demonstrates the level of commitment I have to document local culture for our international readership.
Mommy helps Phoenix get into the dragon car (while Papa photographs).
Time to get out and go to the next ride.
This ride goes back and forth.
We weren’t sure if Phoenix would like this ride or if she’d be scared.
She really liked it.
But after a few minutes, she got bored with it. The ride went on and on, until I eventually told the ride operator that the kids were bored.
Next, Phoenix wanted to ride this little train. Guess what car she picked?
Yup – yet another Doraemon.
After her fill of rides, it was time for more games. This one involves throwing ping-pong balls into little glass vessels.
Phoenix and Mommy got 5 total.
Take a look at this activity. Shooting balloons with arrows. What if your aim is high? There is a very fine mesh net above the backboard, but it didn’t look substantial enough to me.
This game is similar to one we play in the mall. The little trash can lids cycle open and close, and you try to toss a ball into the can when it’s open.
Again, score doesn’t matter – everyone “wins” something.
Phoenix contemplates the wall of “prizes.”
She make her selection and all is well.
Meanwhile, some kind of show started, but I have no idea what it was. There are lights, so something will happen at night too. Wish where was a program I could have looked at.
Last but not least, is this photo of one of the vendors. He’s selling mountain pork in the form of meat-on-a-stick, and sausages. We didn’t try it, but we often have mountain pig and it’s delicious.
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