Visitors continue to flock to Taitung for Winter Rice Harvesting Festival

By Ted Chen ,The China Post

TAIPEI, Taiwan — Revelries continue at the 2013 Taitung Winter Rice Harvesting Festival, part of a 12-event gala celebrating the region’s Hakka culture.

Thousands of visitors have participated in the event, which began last Sunday, enjoying their fill of complimentary traditional Hakka rice cakes. Revelers also joined in a 3-kilometer run in the company of Taitung County Magistrate Justin Huang (黃健庭) as well as a number of popular entertainers of Hakka descent and local government officials, altogether raising NT$62,390 for local charities.

As a major population center of people of Hakka descent, Taitung is committed to promoting the region’s distinct cultural highlights, said Huang. Festivities at the event include a farmers’ market, an awards ceremony for distinguished local Hakka residents, and a lantern festival.

For those who missed the event, a picnic will be hosted in Lukang on Sunday, Dec. 1, from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m., followed by a concert featuring performances by numerous Hakka bands of both new and traditional musical styles. The public is welcome to participate in the revelries, and behold the dazzling sight of great expanses of wind-swept crop fields in the area.