This year, it is the Daai Ceremony District's turn to undertake the 2020 Hsinchu County National Yimin Festival. On August 8th, the people welcomed the Yimin Deity back to its seat in the ceremony district to begin a one-month long food offering ceremony. On the morning of August 29th, Deputy Minister of the Hakka Affairs Council Fan Tso-Ming and Hsinchu County Magistrate Yang Wen-Ke, honorary chief host of the offering, led the county government team by carrying food offerings with a pole for several hundreds of meters to the Citian Temple in Beipu to express the highest respect for the Yimin Deity passed down from generation to generation of the Hakka people. The Three Villages of Daai then performed the dragon dance, the lion dance, the children's Taiko drum team and the Banners Flying in the Wind of the Yimin Deity choreographed by the Hsinchu County Hakka Dance Troupe to re-create the heroic spirit of the volunteer army in defending their homeland.
County Magistrate Yang personally waved Yimin Peace Amulets over the incense burner and gave them away, attracting many people to line up for the amulets and experience the Hakka Yimin culture together. In a modern society where traditional rituals are gradually diminishing, the event recreated the grand occasion of carrying food offerings with a pole in years past. County Magistrate Yang Wen-Ke said after 15 years, the Yimin Festival this year has rotated back to the Daai District. The rotation system began in 1877, and the festival has rotated back to Daai District for the eleventh time. Today's pole carrying and food offering mainly demonstrates the spirit of "compassion and universality" of the ritual. The local people brought food offering from their homes to the temple for the Yimin Deity. Their devotion is equal to that of their ancestor worship. In the meticulous pole carrying and food offering ritual, they hope to remember their Hakka ancestors who expressed gratitude and nostalgia toward the Yimin Deity through pole carrying and food offering, and transmit the core spirit of the Yimin Festival.
Tian Chao-Jung, Director of the Cultural Affairs Bureau of Hsinchu County Government, said that the 2020 Hsinchu County National Yimin Festival not only continues the rituals of the tradition ceremony, but also furthers education and promotes Hakka culture in the Daai Festival District. The Cultural Affairs Bureau has planned five major themes for this year. From September 5 to November 1, an exhibition and a series of exciting activities are being held at the Baozhong Yimin Temple in Xinpu and the Deng Nan-guang Photo Memorial in Beipu. For more information, please visit the county fan page.