While famous for housing the biggest airport in Taiwan, the Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport, this once peach-filled area also developed a name for its distinctive attractions such as the natural hotspots, beautiful mountains, the Hakka culture, rustic areas and military communities and more. Today, Taoyuan has evolved into a beautiful modern place that attracts more and more visitors each year to explore its beauty and story. In addition, culture and festivals in Taoyuan are also highly anticipated not only by the locals but also by people from other counties.
While the most common Taiwan festivals are rooted from Chinese traditions and religion, Taoyuan offers a more fascinating blend of unique celebrations and events, which are mostly based from the aborigines and tribal groups, popular flowers, etc.
The Taoyuan County government organizes different folk festivals each year inviting both traditional and contemporary art performing groups for various performances. Some of the unique culture and festivals in Taoyuan include God of Land cultural event, Family Story Telling Competition, Indigenous Tribal Harvest Festival, Guanyin Lotus Festival just to name a few.
The Atayals in Fuxing Township are popular for their harvest festival. During late summer every year, this festival lures countless visitors. Atayals are famed for their facial tattoos, the possession of which is a distinct feature of their culture. While no longer practiced today, still many senior tribesmen have facial tattoos, representing the historical legacy of the Atayal.
Another popular festival is the Guanyin Lotus Festival, which is the counterpart of lotus appreciation activity in the town of Baihe, Tainan in the south. The main aim of the festival is to encourage farms to cultivate lotus flowers in deserted farmlands with the county government supplying new lotus varieties in Guanyin and Xinwu to make Taoyuan County the melting pot of five varieties symbolizing the harmony of five tribal groups. The Taoyuan Lotus Festival is a 3-month long event during June to September putting together local cultures and industries with popular activities such as lotus landscape appreciation and lotus meals.
The Cihu Travel Festival features carnivals, exhibitions and concerts and is organized as a tribute to the 50th anniversary of Chiang Ching-kuo’s birth and completion of Chiang Kai-shek’s Tzuhu residence.
Started in 2003, the Taoyuan Hakka Tung Blossom Festival is a festival during April to May that aims for the promotion of Hakka travel, art and cultural events, and encouraging citizens to witness true Tung Blossoms. It also aspires to spread the culture of Hakka and further enhance community cultural industry. Another Taoyuan festival hitting its seventh anniversary is the Shihmen Tourist Festival, which is celebrated from August 29 to September 29 every year. This festival attracts thousands of people from different parts of the country. Some exciting activities include the grand opening ceremony, live band performances, laser water show, fireworks display, cuisine competition of fish dishes and biking in Longtan.
While it is not really the hottest tourist destination in Taiwan, the culture and festivals in Taoyuan makes the entire county a vibrant and interesting place to visit. Besides the folk festivals, commonly observed events and celebrations are still celebrated and supported by the Taoyuan locals.