The Xinpu Hakka Festival

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Geotagged photos by MJ Klein

 

Xinpu Hakka Festival

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.

Xinpu Hakka Festival

There were lots of floats on display.

Xinpu Hakka Festival

Xinpu Hakka Festival

As you can see, some of them were quite elaborate.

Xinpu Hakka Festival

Xinpu Hakka Festival

Xinpu Hakka Festival

Xinpu Hakka Festival

Xinpu Hakka Festival

Xinpu Hakka Festival

Xinpu Hakka Festival

Xinpu Hakka Festival

We came to this cool display of hand painted lantern shades.

Xinpu Hakka Festival

Hui-chen is pointing out the Doraemon lantern shade because Phoenix likes Doraemon.

Xinpu Hakka Festival

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.

Xinpu Hakka Festival

Definitely a carnival festival going on.

Xinpu Hakka Festival

Lots of vendors selling you-name-it.

Xinpu Hakka Festival

Phoenix hasn’t had much experience with places like this yet.

Xinpu Hakka Festival

We walked over to the rides area.

Xinpu Hakka Festival

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.

Xinpu Hakka Festival

This “pirate ship” goes back and forth.  She’ll ride it later.  Now it’s time for some games.

Xinpu Hakka Festival

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.

Xinpu Hakka Festival

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.

Xinpu Hakka Festival

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.

Xinpu Hakka Festival

This is a type of pinball machine.

Xinpu Hakka Festival

Phoenix won a bunch of tickets which were of course, redeemed for a prize later.

Xinpu Hakka Festival

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.

Xinpu Hakka Festival

Mommy helps Phoenix get into the dragon car (while Papa photographs).

Xinpu Hakka Festival

Xinpu Hakka Festival

Time to get out and go to the next ride.

Xinpu Hakka Festival

This ride goes back and forth.

Xinpu Hakka Festival

We weren’t sure if Phoenix would like this ride or if she’d be scared.

Xinpu Hakka Festival

She really liked it.

Xinpu Hakka Festival

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.

Xinpu Hakka Festival

Next, Phoenix wanted to ride this little train.  Guess what car she picked?

Xinpu Hakka Festival

Yup – yet another Doraemon.

Xinpu Hakka Festival

Xinpu Hakka Festival

After her fill of rides, it was time for more games.  This one involves throwing ping-pong balls into little glass vessels.

Xinpu Hakka Festival

Phoenix and Mommy got 5 total.

Xinpu Hakka Festival

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.

Xinpu Hakka Festival

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.

Xinpu Hakka Festival

Xinpu Hakka Festival

Again, score doesn’t matter – everyone “wins” something.

Xinpu Hakka Festival

Phoenix contemplates the wall of “prizes.”

Xinpu Hakka Festival

She make her selection and all is well.

Xinpu Hakka Festival

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.

Xinpu Hakka Festival

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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4 comments

  1. It’s kinda strange that these simple game machines still hang on, despite all the computerized toys which are available today. It’s kinda cool, too.

    Those lanterns are impressive! That’s the problem with us only being in Taiwan in the summer, we miss all these seasonal things.

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