Taipei’s 2018 Yangmingshan Flower Festival kicks off

People pose for selfies with blooming cherry blossoms at Yangmingshan National Park in Taipei on Thursday. (Photo courtesy of CNA)

Taipei, (CNA) The 2018 Yangmingshan Flower Festival kicked off on Thursday with a traditional dragon and lion dance guided by the rhythmic beating of drums serenaded by blooming cherry blossoms in what is considered one of the biggest festivals in Taiwan.

The theme of the festival is “Cherry Lion.” It offers visitors a chance to see various types of cherry blossoms, including Taiwan Cherry, classic cherry trees, Yoshino cherry and Hirado Azalea, according to website Travel Taipei, which is managed by Taipei’s Department of Information and Tourism.

The occasion was attended by Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲), Department of Information and Tourism Commissioner Chen Su-yu (陳思宇) and many people braving the rainy and cold weather.

Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) attended the opening of 2018 Yangmingshan Flower Festival on Feb. 22. (Photo courtesy of CNA)

During a speech at the event, Ko said Yangmingshan is Taipei’s backyard garden and its floral festivals have received 1.3 million tourists last year. He said he hopes good results will continue this year.

Apart from viewing the cherry blossoms situated near the iconic flower clock, visitors can also participate in the many activities offered in the nearby Xinhai Guangfu Tower, Ko added.

Even if visitors come to Yangmingshan not for the flowers, but just to relax, the mountain is still a very good place to visit, said Ko, adding that he recommends people take public transportation to prevent an overwhelming number of vehicles that may cause traffic jams on Yangde Boulevard, the main road up the mountain.

Song Fu-hua (宋馥華), head of the Floriculture Experiment Center, said various types of cherry blossoms are set to bloom one after another during the festival, which is slated to run through to March 25.

Even after the cherry blossom blooming season, Yangmingshan will remain popular with visitors as different festivals are lined up throughout the rest of the year, giving people many things to look at in all four seasons, Song added.

Taipei’s 2018 Yangmingshan Flower Festival kicked off on Feb. 22.
A woman holding a selfie stick poses for a picture with blooming cherry blossoms at Yangmingshan National Park in Taipei on Thursday. (Photo courtesy of CNA)

(By Matt Yu and William Yen)