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Baihe Lotus Festival

Jun. Jul. Aug.

Situated in Tainan City, Baihe has earned itself the nickname “Lotusville” for its wondrous year-round beauty. This rural village is also an excellent place to visit for both education and recreation. During spring, summer, and fall the leaves of the lotuses are wonderfully green as the flowers themselves begin to blossom; between June and August every year, the Baihe Lotus Festival attracts huge numbers of people to admire the flowers, with the scent of lotuses filling the air, particularly in the three most iconic lotus areas of Liantan, Dajhu, and Jhumen. In addition to the lotuses, Baihe is also home to a rich history and wealth of tourist destinations, as well as the Guanzihling mud pools. The township offers opportunities for travel and recreation, and the festival bolsters this with events by artists in residence, lotus picking, demonstrations of the lotus tea ceremony, lotus painting, lotus-based meals, storytelling by local elders, and the wonderful natural environment, including fireflies. All of this makes for a colorful festival of lotuses, and a place so delightful you’ll never want to leave. During spring, summer, and fall the leaves of the lotuses are wonderfully green as the flowers themselves begin to blossom

Baihe Lotus Festival
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Dongshan Longan Festival

Aug. Sep.

During the Qing dynasty, the modern Dist. of Dongshan was known as the Doroko Western Fort, and the whole Dist. focused its development around agriculture. Since then, it has become a significant producer of longan, ponkan tangerines, oranges, and cantaloupes. When the heat of summer hits, around July and August, it's longan season, as also the best time to make dried longan. With 160 drying kilns over 100 years old in the township, longan season is a bustling time. While the once-common sight of longan being plucked is becoming ever rarer, in Dongshan you can find trees everywhere with clusters of the fruit. In Dongshan, they use age-old, traditional methods to create dried longan, giving the township a unique culture and making the longan season a wonderful time for visitors to come and enjoy the fun of plucking longan with traditional bamboo poles. You can also experience the longan drying process and the distinctive local culture. In addition to the delicious fruit, there are also places to go hiking, enjoy excellent coffee, and learn about the culture that makes Dongshan so unique. When the heat of summer hits, around July and August, it's longan season, as also the best time to make dried longan.

Dongshan Longan Festival
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Yujing Mango Festival

Jul. Aug.

The Tainan City Dist. of Yujing was once known as Tapani, so named for the Siraya sub-tribe that called it home. Yujing is Taiwan's biggest producer of mangoes, boasting a range of varieties of mango and producing nearly 10,000 tons of mangoes each year. The locals' farming excellence has earned them a reputation far and wide, with Yujing becoming know as the "Mango Kingdom." Mango season runs between April and September, and every July Yujing holds a month-long event called the Yujing Mango Festival, celebrating their farmers with enormous, juicy, fleshy mangoes and offering all kinds of scenic and cultural activities, including mango size and beauty pageants, along with the opportunity to try and make dried mango for yourself. The local farmers work hard to develop more mango products and actively promote special mango meals, marketing their mangoes to the world. A trip to Yujing for the festival is a wonderful experience, not only for the chance to try dozens of different kinds of mango and the sour/sweet combination of flavors in mango ice, but also for the songs and tales of local heroes such as Yu Cingfang who fought against the occupying forces of Japan. Yujing is also an excellent place to get bargains on a variety of other fruits, with the cafes on Mt. Hutou offer a view of the entire Yujing Basin. Overall, this is a spectacular experience and something not to be missed. The locals' farming excellence has earned them a reputation far and wide, with Yujing becoming know as the "Mango Kingdom."

Yujing Mango Festival
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Dongshan Coffee Festival

Oct. Nov.

With a history of 60 years, Dongshan, in Tainan City, has become known as a haven for local coffee. Dongshan's farmers growing Arabica coffee—regarded as the world's best variety—with organic fertilizer, and at present the township is home to almost 150 hectares of coffee plantations. At around October and November each year, the mountains are brimming with coffee trees and orange trees, their reds and greens respectively mingling to create a scene of unrivaled beauty. It is at this time that the Dongshan Coffee Festival opens, dedicated not only to promoting the locally produced coffee, but also the sweet, green-skinned ponkan tangerines Dongshan is rich with. In Dongshan, you can sample the distinctive coffee and the fun of picking fruit, as well as taking part in a guided tour of the local coffee plantations, or take a symbolic, fashionable trip through Dongshan's 175 coffee trails. Taiwan's "home of coffee" has a unique attraction to coffee lovers, and this has led to a profusion of high quality farming operations providing coffee that rivals, if not beats, any imported beans. In recent years, Dongshan's coffee industry has taken to working together with the hot-springs festival in Guanzihling, as well as providing engaging mountain hikes, all creating a wonderful cooperation between the agricultural and tourism industries, giving visitors the chance to fully experience the myriad wonders of Tainan City, from the camphor trees to the Jianan Plains, the coffee to the tangerines, and the mountains to the glorious cherry blossoms. The sight of coffee beans drying in the sun is one rarely found in Taiwan, and makes for part of a truly high quality recreational experience. At around October and November each year, the mountains are brimming with coffee trees and orange trees

Dongshan Coffee Festival
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Guantian Water Caltrop Festival

Sep. Oct.

Guantian Dist. is in the heart of Tainan City, and has long since made a name for itself nationwide as Taiwan's top producer of water chestnuts. Every September and October is the peak season for water chestnuts in Taiwan, and all over Guantian you'll see farmers out collecting their harvest, rowing their boats out or wearing full-body wet weather gear out amidst the fields, turning leaf after leaf to collect chestnuts in a demonstration of pastoral elegance. The sight of the farmers' boats in the fields has become renowned as one of the must-see sights of southern Taiwan. Every year, this old-fashioned location on the banks of Hulupi is home to the Guantian Water Chestnut Festival, bringing together the local chestnut industry and cultural activities, including lion dances, dragon dances, concerts, special sales and tasting sessions for water chestnuts, opportunities to go water chestnut picking, and folk art performances. The overall festival is vibrant and bustling; sample the delicacy that is local water chestnuts, enjoy the sights and scents of Guantian, investigate the local Aboriginal culture, plant some chestnuts of your own—it's an entirely satisfying, utterly romantic experience. If you want to experience the unique water chestnut-oriented style of Guantian, why not make the most of the opportunity this festival presents? Investigate the local Aboriginal culture, plant some chestnuts of your own—it's an entirely satisfying, utterly romantic experience.

Guantian Water Caltrop Festival
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Siraya Night Sacrifice

Dongshan Kabua Sea Howling Festival Kabua Sua is situated in the vil. of Donghe, in the Tainan City Dist. of Dongshan, and is tribal Vil. belonging to the Seolangh subtribe of the Siraya people. In addition to their annual Kabua Sua Night Festival, held on the night of the fourth day of the ninth lunar month and into the morning of the fifth, at midday on the fifth on a road not far from the public house another festival is held, the “Ocean Festival.” Local farmers set out sacrificial offerings along either side of the road, then a priest calls to the gods from a makeshift altar, dedicating the sacrifices to the spirits of ancestors who died on the seas to the southwest, commemorating and comforting the spirits. Villagers select sacrifices of food to offer the spirits and take them to the altar, inviting the spirits to watch the ceremony. Then the priest leads the villagers and songstresses in prayers, and the songstresses ring the altar as they sing ancient songs and the priest holds the ancestral scepter and runs forward, calling to the gods. After the songs, the priest casts an oracle, then an assistant priest goes to the front of the villagers’ offerings, removing sugarcane leaves that have been placed in wine bottles, an action that signifies that the gods have accepted the sacrifices. The ceremony then finishes, after around a half-hour. This ceremony gives visitors a chance to witness the devotion of the people of Kabua Sua to their ancestors and their determination to never forget their roots. It is also one of the most unique ceremonies in Taiwan’s Aboriginal community, being an inland festival dedicated to the sea. Toushe Village Taizu Night Sacrifice The village of Toushe is situated in Tainan City’s Danei Dist.. The name Toushe—meaning “head community”—comes from the village’s location, at the main traffic thoroughfare formed by the area being the only point where the Zengwen River runs from the plains into the Yujing Basin. Another story behind the name is that this is the site of the first village established by the Siraya subtribes—the Sinkan, the Soelangh, the Baccloangh, and the Mattauw—in the 17th and 18th centuries as they were forced off their lands by the encroaching Chinese immigrant farmers and into the mountains; the area also became home to a number of other tribal settlements, and so the first and main settlement became known as the “head” village, hence Toushe Vil.. Once a year, on the 14th and 15th days of the tenth lunar month, the main Siraya cultural festival—the “Ancestral Night Festival”—is held. The festival is the largest, most well known of the Pingpu night festivals, and is held at the Toushe Public house. In addition to the traditional earthen urns and pots used by the Siraya to represent the ancestors, upon entering the public house to pay worship, one can light incense as part of the tradition. In the course of the festival you can see paper sacrifices being burned and incense smoke wafting upward, the results of the local fusion of Aboriginal and Chinese cultures. Regardless of this fusion, though, Toushe is still very strict about the progression of the Night Festival, starting on the first day of the ninth lunar month with a ceremony seeking the protection of the gods for the people, their animals, and the land. Then on the first day of the tenth lunar month the festival continues with an opening dedication and the burning of a pig’s head, bamboo knives, and wreaths of flowers, a process aimed at cleansing the public house, in addition to a sacrifice of betelnut signifying the ushering out of the old and the welcoming of the new. These ceremonies are also directed toward the gods, asking for their presence. On the 14th day, the changing of the flags and attire of the public house statues proceeds, and the following day a closing taboo ceremony is held. During these final ceremonies, songs are song and the local people pray to the gods and the ancestors, and the atmosphere is one of solemnity and reverence. After the sacrifice of the pigs is complete, a representative comes forward to announce the names of the sacrificial pigs and the reasons for their sacrifice to the ancestors, and afterward songs are sung to conclude the ceremony as the pigs are rolled over. After the ceremony is concluded, a tribal elder pours rice wine in the mouths of the pigs as a further offering, and once the taboo ceremony is held the festival as a whole is regarded to have successfully concluded, with no more of the songs allowed to be sung. The Night Festival offers a valuable, in-depth insight into Aboriginal culture and is a wonderful representative of the merging of Aboriginal faith and Chinese folk religion.

Siraya Night Sacrifice
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