The 2015 Taiwan International Festival of Hakka Culture combined the International Flower Drum Art Festival, the 28th Great Hakka Reunion and the Hakka Cultural and Creative Fair. The festival invited many groups from ten countries to give performances. One of the events, the 'Hakka Folk Drum' procession carnival took to the streets on the afternoon on October 17th. After the ceremonial three-gun salute fired by Magistrate Chiu Ching-chun, County Council Speaker Zhang Zhen-rong and New Taipei City Deputy Mayor Kao Chung-cheng. The event started with cacophonous drums, exquisite costumes and energetic performances, set out from the County Government Plaza and Cultural Affairs Bureau greeted by the enthusiastic roar of the crowd, a joyful spirit filling the air.
The organizers invited 53 groups from Taiwan and overseas to join the carnival. The most eye-catching was surely the 208-meter long, 2.4-meter tall dragon from Liancheng in Fujian, made up of 52 segments and requiring 208 people to hold it up. The paper and bamboo needed to make this gigantic dragon were all brought over from China and handmade in Hsinchu County. Every segment weighs 30 kilograms, with the head weighing in at 50 kilos, creating a magnificent sight.
In addition, the 100-meter long dragon from Hukou Township also attracted plenty of attention. The dragon was held aloft by more than 70 men, women and children from Hukou. In charge of the drums was Mr. Peng Sheng-zhang, who is in his 80s; he may be old, but he hits the drums with gusto, creating an earth-shattering rumble which gives their 100-meter long dragon even more power.
Other groups included international guests such as Aomori Nebuta Matsuri and Kochi Yosakoi Dance Troupe from Japan, a War Dance performance from West Africa, and a music and dance group from Brazil. As well as Liancheng's gigantic dragon, Mainland China was represented by the Longdong Hakka Arts Group, Shaanxi Folk Arts Group, and the Folk Drum Theatre Troupe from Fengyang, Anhui.
As for the domestic groups, besides groups sent by the local governments of Taipei, New Taipei City and Taichung, the Xinwawu Flower Drum Group, Baiyi Creative Theatre Troupe, and groups from Jianshi, Zhudong and Hengshan Townships in Hsinchu County all put on energetic performances. The Lion Dance Group from Beipu Junior High, Hakka Big Drum Troupe from Qingshui Elementary School, the Flower Drum Group from Puhe Elementary, 10-drum formation from Neiwan Elementary School and the Hsinlei dance group, figures from Leofoo Village Theme Park and from Little Dingdong Science Theme Park also joined the parade.