Hsinchu County Yimin Festival, which has been listed as the national cultural heritage, is hosted by Juiqionglin Village this year. On the morning of August 20, a grand worship ceremony took place at Xinpu Yimin Temple. Magistrate Yang Wen-ke, Minister of Hakka Affairs Council Lee Yung-de, Chairman of Xinpu Yimin Temple Xu De-xin, and Chairman of Juiqionglin Village Yimin Fesitval Committee Zeng Jing-ming attended the ceremony, presented flowers to Yimin Ye, read prayers, and awarded prizes to the winners of the sacred pig contest.
This year, the sacred pig special prize goes to Wu Chun-wei, whose sacred pig weighs 851.4 kg, and the sacred goat first prize goes to Peng Peng-shuan, whose sacred goat's horn is 85.5 cm in length. Other award-winning sacred pigs are respectively from Chen Zhen-xien (844.8 kg), Dai Li-he (820.8 kg), and Zhang Mu-chun (798 kg), while other award-winning sacred goats are from Zhang Mu-chun (77.6 cm) and Xiao Shao-qin (71.8 cm).
In response to those who advocate animal protection and welfare, Magistrate Yang stated that the county government would show respect for all kinds of opinions and suggestions. He further explained, "The sacred pig contest is a tradition during Yimin Festival. However, things change with the times. Many people start to use 'rice-made sacred pigs' in replace of real pigs. And the government has also been promoting the 'sacred pig painting' event." Magistrate Yang believed that it was the traditional Hakka spirits that should be passed down from generation to generation, and that old customs would change over time.
Minister of Hakka Affair Council Lee Yung-de indicated that traditional customs could not be banned or canceled by any organization or government at once. Every custom has its historic background and meanings. We should take the sacred pig contest and sacred pig raising as two different things. The former is a traditional custom. As to the latter, we should treat pigs in a humane manner. Besides, Lee added, as far as he knew, Hakka people showed the same respect for sacred pigs as they did for their grandparents. There was little chance of force feeding.