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2019 Country Cultural Festival

Tainan is known as a capital of ancient culture, and its rich local heritage truly shines through in diverse local festivals. In 2019, the Tainan Municipal Administration Of Cultural Heritage(TMACH) held a series of events called the Country Cultural Festival. Each season, TMACH selects a traditional event to visit and document. Some of these events include the Guanyin pilgrimage within the 9 villages of Daciou in Liujia District, Celebrating the birthday of the god of the Sun and offering up sacrifices of 9 pigs and 16 sheep, Anping Chenghuang Public Temple Offerings, and Dongshan Jibeishua Siao Hai Festival. TMACH holds seminars before these cultural festivals, hoping to attract more participants. By visiting the places where these festivals take place, Tainan City endeavors to promote folk traditions and increase the general public’s knowledge of cultural assets.

The Guanyin pilgrimage within the 9 villages of Daciou in Liujia District kicked off the Country Cultural Festival. To help general public have a better understanding of local traditional events, TMACH held the pre-event seminar at Book Site on Feb. 16th. The President of Daciou Sanjiaotou Management Committee He Cheng-chang and Executive Secretary Li Jung-pin were invited to share at the seminar. Locals telling local stories, they discussed all the nuts and bolts of preparing for the parades. The parade held on Feb. 23rd, and participants had a close-up religious experience. Tainan’s Intangible Cultural Heritage Section Advisory committee member Huang Wen-po was invited to explain the rituals of the festival and the history of the event. He probed the history and memories hidden in rural Tainan from various angles.

TMACH stated that The Guanyin pilgrimage within the 9 villages of Daciou in Liujia District, which has been held for more than 100 years, is an intangible asset of Tainan City. Predecessors of Lioujia residents were grateful for protection from the parades of Guanyin which worshipped at Chishan Longhuyan Temple in Lioujia and the Matsu from Hen An Temple. Nine villages in Daciou District gathered together and invited goddess Guanyin and Matsu in January 16 to 20 of the Chinese lunar calendar to parade around the Daciou and Sanjiaotou areas. The event has a six-year cycle. In the first three years, the goddesses go on pilgrimage. In the last three years, a special drama is performed to give thanks for the blessings provided by the gods and to pray for peace in the coming year. During the parade period (between the 21st and the 23rd), nine villages in Sanjiaotou come together. Each village holds its own drum procession, and every household joins the parade and makes snacks for the participants. Villagers preserve the traditions of their ancestors through ceremonies full of local flare.

This year is the first year of the pilgrimage cycle. We invite everyone to retreat to the country and enter the memory of history to experience religion and local life, to feel the authenticity of the Tainan cultural festival. For more information, visit the TMACH fan page at https://www.facebook.com/tmach20101225.