The Miaoli City Office hosted the Kite Culture and Hakka Food Festival 2020 in Miaoli Riverside Park on October 24 and 25. The Asian Kite Forum has led 15 kite-flying teams from across Taiwan, including nearly 100 kite-flying experts carrying more than 1,000 kites, to join this festival. People were expecting a magnificent and dazzling carnival with excitement. According to Miaoli City Mayor Chiu Chen-chun, it was the tenth anniversary for the Miaoli Kite Festival. “Over the past ten years, we have dedicated ourselves to the promotion of the Hakka culture, and now we are celebrating the Hakka Kite Festival, which is the only one related to the Hakka culture in the world. We have succeeded in our training of the seeded team, and this year the seeded team will attend and compete with the professional kite-flyers at the International Hexagonal Kite Festival,” he said. Further to the kite event in the daytime, there were more activities at night-time. The festival operators invited the Yu Gu Fang, a drumming group; the Seahorse Music, a Mongolian music group; and the Dance Works, a tap-dancing group to give performances at the glow party at night. The above groups delivered impressive performances at the presidential inauguration early this year. While admiring a panorama of rich-colored kites flying all over in the blue sky and listening to the inspiring drumbeats at night, visitors were “sharing with the blessings in rising Miaoli,” which was the theme of the festival.
Miaoli City Mayor Chiu Chen-chun (Center) and Chairman Yang Chang-cheng of the Hakka Affairs Council (Right) have jointly launched a teapot-shaped kite symbolizing Hakkanese tea-offering hospitality.
At the kick-off ceremony, City Mayor Chiu; Yang Chang-cheng, Chairman of the Hakka Affairs Council; and Yang Chiao-an, Citizen Representative of Miaoli jointly unveiled the festival by launching a teapot-shaped kite of five meters long to the sky. Immediately airborne were the teapot-shaped kites of different sizes launched by the Hakka Affairs Council, the Taiwan Tourism Bureau, the CPC Corporation, and the Chang Chun Group. In Chinese, “pot” is pronounced very closely to “blessing.” Hence, in addition to the fact that Miaoli is famous for its tea, “teapot” has been interpreted as meaning Hakka people’s warm hospitality and great humanistic spirit. Another sensation maker at the festival was the show from the Team 8+ Taiwan, which is a stunt kite-flying team and has won the first prize in their contests in Korea and Japan. Viewers watched in awe the stunt kites flying in large groups, combining words, making drawings, and even dancing in rhythm in the sky. Those flying kites were agile like a bunch of sportsmen competing on a field of play. Furthermore, there were huge frameless soft parafoil kites in white crane’s and black hawk’s shape fighting with each other, and kites in the shape of the Hakka Kid, a frolicking devil, a flying phoenix, as well as a UFO fighting against an alien in space.
Because of the pandemic, international kite-flying teams unable to come have provided via the Asian Kite Forum many self-designed kites to join the kite flying at the festival.
The Asian Kite Forum has invited many kite flyers to fly kites at the festival, making Miaoli’s sky magnificent and lively.
As for the most popular soft parafoil kites, needless to say, more interesting kites have appeared in the sky. There were colorful kites of a stingray, an octopus, a skate, and others all of 30 meters long. The sky over Miaoli has become a huge aquarium filled with colorful marine creatures. The kites of the cartoon and video game characters were not absent either. People were watching Disney’s 30-meter-long Cleopatra, Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck, as well as Stitch and Sully in the Monsters, Inc. Also hovering in the sky were Miaoli’s protected animal, a kite of the leopard cat, and fruits such as strawberry and persimmon. Because of the pandemic, international kite-flying teams could not attend this festival. Nevertheless, they have provided their self-designed kites for flying at this festival. These kites were so creatively designed that you could see a colorful giant fish from Germany, a dinosaur from the Netherlands, a lizard from New Zealand, and a centipede from Singapore. Aside from the above, also flying across the sky were a string of little cow kites of 300 meters long, and a string of dynamic kites of wild geese. All these colorful strange-looking kites have made Miaoli’s sky so lively and magnificent.
The thematic teapot-shaped kite of the Miaoli International Kite Festival represents Hakkanese tea-offering hospitality.
In addition to the kite show, the Hakka Food Carnival and Wind Art Festival have also captured visitors’ attention. During the festival period, at 9 a.m., visitors bought a NT$200 food voucher, which offered food consumption and a limited-quantity freebie of kite; at 2 p.m., visitors checked in at the festival to obtain a dog-shaped freebie towel which was in limited quantity of 500 pieces each day. There were other activities, such as the Kite-flying Experiences for Parents and Children, the DIY Kites, and the Learning of Hakka Language. To know more about this festival, please visit the following website: http://www.miaoli-9kite.com/
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Company Name: Asian Kite Forum(Taiwan)
Person: Cheng Kai-Yuan
Source: Asian Kite Forum
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