Willow fest to kick-off on Christmas in Yilan County

The China Post news staff

The Cat-tail Willow Festival is set to kick-off on Christmas Day in Yilan’s Sansing Township, arriving just in time for New Years and providing a full month of exciting cultural activities sure to attract audiences of all ages.

What exactly, is the Cat-tail Willow? A specialty of Sansing Township with a harvest season from December to February, the “cat-tail” or “silver willow” is the most popular ornamental plant for Chinese New Year, with its vibrant red buds appearing especially auspicious for the traditional holiday. The silver willow also signifies wealth and money due to its name.

The main events of the Cat-tail Willow Festival will take place on the four days between Christmas and Jan. 2, 2011. To celebrate the seventh anniversary of the Cat-tail Willow Festival, Sansing Township has planned an innovative array of themed events set to increase the participant’s creative juices. There will be displays of creative flower arrangements, performances involving a Cat-tail Willow-based play, a flower viewing trip, a triathlon and a silver willow rabbit dance to name a few. The first 50 people to sign up for the event will receive a free gift of seven sticks of the silver willow. A special package will allows visitors to make picture frames, jewelry and other DIY products for NT$200.