The 2018 National Yimin Festival took the stage at Xinpu Yimin Temple on the morning of August 26th. The festival was inaugurated with a lion dance performance presented by Qionglin Zhengjia Lion Dance Troupe. Accompanied by traditional Hakka music, the palanquin bearing the statue of Yimin Ye was subsequently lifted up by Premier of Executive Yuan Lai Ching‑te, Minister of Hakka Affairs Council Lee Yung-te, Hsinchu County Magistrate Chiu Ching-chun and Hsinchu County Council Speaker Zhang Zhen-rong before a parade and Yimin Ye pilgrimage officially kicked off.
Premier Lai indicated that Yimin Festival is a significant event for Hakka people. He showed his support and gratitude to Hsinchu County Government for its great efforts to pass down Hakka customs and make Hakka cultures known by more people.
Magistrate Chiu showed that Xinpu Yimin Temple is going to celebrate its 230th anniversary this year. The festival, hosted by the villages in Xiashan Region this year, specially featured the cultural asset of Qionglin: Hakka Lion, and thus created a new image. Besides, the county government invited students from Japan's Kochi Minami Senior High School to have an on-the-spot sacred pig painting competition with local students from Yi Min Senior High School, Chung Hsin High School and St. Aloysius Technical School, providing an opportunity for international art exchange. A 5-meter-tall giant sacred pig designed by Yang Zhi-ziang was also displayed at the square in front of Yimin Temple for the celebration of Yimin Festival.
Led by an array of people carrying giant flags, a parade attended by 11 teams, including Troupe of Acrobatics from National Taiwan College of Performing Arts, Formosa Ballet, Feihorng Guan Lion Dance Troupe, Zhumeng Dance Troupe, and so on, took place. Hakka lions greeted the parade and Yimin Ye with a lion dance ritual to get rid of evil spirits and bring good fortune.
After the opening ceremony, people stood in line for talismans empowered by Yimin Ye. From 9 a.m. to 11 a.m., there were family challenge games attracting swarms of people to participate in. At 1:30 p.m., a lecture on Yimin Festival, delivered by Author of Annals of Qionglin Township Zhuang Xing-hui, Researcher Gu Zhi-cheng and Professor Luo Lie-shi, was held at Qionglin Township Farmers' Market.
At 7 p.m., eight lion dance troupes from all over Hsinchu County had an intense contest with one another. All the lion dance performers, whose ages ranged from 8 to 88, paid tribute to Yimin Ye by giving splendid performances. Minister of MOI Hsu Kuo-yung also attended the festivity in the hope of passing on Hakka spirits. He emphasized if one would like to participate in Yimin Festival, Hsinchu County would be the best place to visit.