The annual Cingjing Torch Festival in Renai Township, Nantou County, will unfold at Cing Jing Elementary School on Oct. 25-26. The festival will begin with a “Street Banquet” from the customs of the Hani people in Yunnan, located in southern China. The 100-meter-long table will feature Burmese and Thai cuisine. Photos of previous installments of the festival are an incredible scene to see.
Cingjing Torch Festival, also known as the “Oriental Carnival,” is a traditional festival from the southwestern minority of China. After the Kuomintang lost the civil war and retreated to Taiwan in 1949, the national army successively came to Taiwan to cultivate lands, and the first wave of migrants settled in the Nantou Cingjing area in 1961 — military from the Myanmar-Burma region. There is, therefore, little wonder that the traditions and foods from southern China have become part of the Cingjing area too.
The Cingjing Torch Festival symbolizes the “passing on the torch.” The residents lit torches to pray for blessings, representing the unity of the tribes and expressing hopes to pass on the strong spirit of the Burmese guerrillas. The Cingjing area combines the ethnic minorities of Yunnan, the indigenous people of Renai Township, and the new immigrant culture of Hehuan Mountain, creating a display of cultural diversity.
Renai Township Office said that in addition to the Long Street Banquet, there will be Yunnan Night, Hometown Night, Cingjing Market, Yunnan traditional music concert, and film screenings on the 26th and 27th of this month. Cingjing music and art festival will show the cultural characteristics of the integration of local ethnic groups.
By Shelly Yang