Taiwan tourism: The Hakka Tung Blossom Festival
Blossoming from April-May 2018, the inspiration of the Tung Blossom Festival comes from the Hakka people, who live a hard working and simple life nurtured by wisdom that has come down from their original integration into the Taiwanese local culture.
The Tung Trees that cover the hills and fields were an important cash crop for the Hakka. They also brought many economic opportunities to the local economy. Tung trees were widely planted in the nearby mountains of the Hakka area. Tung seed can be used to extract tung tree oil, and its wood is a basic material in the production of consumer goods at that time, when the economy was much more local, the Tung tree wood's economic value was an important resource in helping many Hakka families make ends meet, and helped Hakka communities purchase food. That is the main reason that the Hakka have deep feelings and heartfelt gratitude towards the Tung tree, the mountains, and nature in general.
During The Tung Blossom Festival, in addition to inviting people to enjoy the flowers and tour around the Hakka village, the Council for Hakka Affairs has the honor of conducting a grand ceremony to worship the three Mountain Gods, the guardian spirits of the Hakka. The ceremony will not only offer thanksgiving and respect to the mountains and forests, but also bring encouragement to the Hakka decedents, extolling them to respect the law, to be solemn and the holy, to be devout in prayers, and to cherish the roots of their culture. Today, although people's livelihood no longer rely on the economic value of tung tree, the modern Tung Tree Festival has been a great economy success. The Tung Blossom Festival hosted by Hakka Affairs Council is not only a sacrifice to the guardian spirits on the behalf of the people, but also an offering to the people on the behalf of the flowers.
The Tung tree has very different stages in its appearance throughout the four Seasons. Around April or May the flowers blossom, and are a beautiful snow white; in summer, green leaves sprout from the branches; in autumn all the leaves turn yellow and blow away with the wind; and during the winter tung tree looks withered and dead. The Hakka people's history has often mimicked these seasons. Several times the Hakka have been forced to migrate, and have faced extreme difficulty. However, they have always stuck to their traditional roots, and been innovative in their methods.