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Celebrating Hakka Culture: 2019 Taipei Hakka Yimin Festival


The Taipei Hakka Yimin Festival is one of the major events in Taipei City. Entering its 32nd year, unlike past edition of the festivity, the Hakka Yimin Festival in 2019 will be held at the Theater Terrace and Main Plaza at Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall for 3 consecutive days starting Saturday, October 26.

The theme for this year is One Hometown, One Characteristic, which serves as the core concept for the planning of related activities. The 3-day-long festival will feature 3 parade routes and 3 meeting points, as well as 19 Yimin Temples from across 10 municipalities participating in the procession. The largest Hakka Yimin event in Taiwan will see over 80 Hakka-related stalls at the fair and more than 13 cultural performances during this period.

Commissioner Hsu Shih-hsun, the head of Hakka Affairs Commission (HAC), pointed out that 2019 is a landmark for the festival as it enters its next 30-year period. Taipei’s Hakka Yimin Festival seeks to become the Hakka exchange platform for both Taiwan and the world. Highlighting the concept of “enriching Taipei’s diverse culture and forming Taiwan’s Hakka brand,” the festival comprises events spanning traditional culture and contemporary art. Starting with the main religious ceremony and sending-off the deity ceremony which emphasizes tradition, events such as shoulder-pole meal-giving procession, creative parade, and hakka-theme fair highlight the hometown and cultural characteristics of the Hakka ethnic group. Through Hakka plays, talented artists integrate Hakka traditional music with popular genres such as classic music, jazz, Latino music, Cuban music, and pop music to merge Hakka with the various aspects of global melodies.

Furthermore, Hsu pointed out that Mayor Ko Wen-je has led the shoulder-pole meal-giving procession for five consecutive years. In the interest of building a Hakka-friendly environment and encouraging 3-generation Hakka family to visit this accommodating city, the procession this year also comes with a pre-event vote to help decide the mayor’s outfit at the procession – whether viking warrior, wizard, farmer, or Doraemon. The winning costume will be unveiled at the ceremony on October 27!

In addition, the mayor will also take on the role of Hakka language envoy during the procession by greeting participants and spectators in Hakka. Fans can look forward to him speaking Hakka when he presides over the main religious ceremony – just like last year. Come and witness the results of the mayor’s intense Hakka language training schedule.

In addition, the cultural activities of the Taipei Hakka Yimin Festival is sure to attract public attention, taking the audience on a musical voyage across different genre of music. With a list of celebrities spanning Hakka music category winners at the Golden Melody Award as well as singer/songwriter producing Hakka original pieces, there will also be Hakka folk song and pop music performances, as well as acrobatic show offering fun for the entire family. The Hakka music night on October 26 will see guests such as Ye Shuhan Brass Quintet, Tito Tang and Montunos, Ginascan Band, and Bass cello master Vicent Hsu. The concert in the evening of October 27 includes teams from the Hakka Language Education Center show off their singing, dance, and musical instrument skills.

The growing popularity of the Taipei Hakka Yimin Festival is evident through the growing size of the affiliated fair. This year, the gathering with the theme One Hometown, One Characteristic has attracted 80 stalls featuring ethnic specialty goods and hands-on cultural and creative experiences. Visitors can stop by stalls selling dried persimmon from the town of Xinpu, while those curious about the making process can conduct hands-on lessons on how to make the treat. There’s also coffee from Meinung, and areas displaying Hakka specialty products from around the island. At the entrance of the plaza, the organizers have also set up a selfie area with a public artwork display consisting of a wall of bamboo hats with Bravo in Hakka costume.

Meanwhile, the parade in the afternoon of October 27 will be led by a huge float, followed by three lesser floats and an entourage of 30 performance teams. The route will take the participants from CKS Memorial Hall Plaza to Yongkang Street Commercial Area and back.

Due to the popularity of the event, individuals are encouraged to take public transportation to the event venue. For more information, please visit the Facebook fan page of the 2019 Taipei Hakka Yimin Festival (Chinese): https://www.facebook.com/Yimin.hakka.taipe/

Event Details:
  1. October 26: Yimin Procession to start at City Hall Plaza; religious rituals; Hakka plays; Hakka fair; Hakka music night
  2. October 27: Shoulder-pole meal-offering procession; religious ritual; Hakka fair; concert night
  3. October 28: sending-off the deity ceremony
Venue: City Hall Plaza, Jinan Road Section 1, and Theater Terrace/Main Plaza of CKS Memorial Hall