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Hakka Land God’s Birthday to be Celebrated March 8-10 at Taipei City Hakka Cultural Park

*Taiwan’s Hakka minority retains many traditional folk cultural elements in their religious practice. Among their deities, the land gods (“bak gung”, who guard their village, neighborhood, or town) are the closest to people’s lives. The land gods’ birthdays fall on the second day of the second month of the lunar calendar, and on that day, each local earth god temple will see many visitors coming to thank their land god for their protection over the past year and pray for continued protection in the year to come.
In keeping with this important tradition, the Taipei City Hakka Cultural Park will also celebrate the birthdays of Taiwan’s land gods with festivities in the park on March 8-10 during the 2019 Bak Gung Birthday Celebration, which aims to honor and celebrate the Hakka people’s folk beliefs.
At the Three Offerings Ritual on March 8, the land gods will be honored with traditional offerings of five kinds of meat, fresh flowers, fruit, and longevity peach buns to celebrate their birthdays and pray for a peaceful and smooth year ahead. Traditional Hakka song and dance performances will be held to thank the land gods for their care over so many years.
On March 9, the Play Puppet Theater, known for its superior puppetry masters and lively performances, will perform a religious drama dedicated to the land gods. The colorful play will revolve around the solar terms (the 24 “months” of the traditional agricultural calendar) and the land gods’ role throughout the year. Young and old are invited to come enjoy this puppetry play, which promises to be good fun!
From March 8 to 10, the Taipei City Hakka Cultural Park will stage a series of activities representing the rich and varied culture of Hakka, including religious rituals, puppet theater, cultural workshops, an outdoor food bazaar, and lucky draws. Any groups or individuals of Hakka heritage or with an interest in Hakka culture are welcome to join any of these events to experience Hakka religious practice and culture, and celebrate the land gods’ birthday and their benevolent protection.
More event details can be found at the official website of the Taipei City Hakka Cultural Park at https://ssl.thcp.org.tw/ or its Facebook fan page https://www.facebook.com/TaipeiHakkaPark/ .
 
Event period: Friday, March 8 through Sunday, March 10
Venue: Taipei City Hakka Cultural Park (No. 2, Sec. 3, Tingzhou Road, Zhongzheng District, Taipei)
Bak Gung Birthday Celebration Activities:
 

Date Time Activity Location
Friday, March 8 10:00-10:20 Warm-up performance/Arrival of guests Stage on the plaza between both buildings inside the Hakka Cultural Park
10:20-10:30 Opening and introduction of guests of honor
10:30-11:10 Bak Gung Thousand Year Birthday Ceremony
11:10-12:00 Hakka Song and Dance Performance
Saturday, March 9 11:00-16:00 Puppetry Play/DIY Workshop/Food Bazaar