Time: Every February Location: Miaoli City
The Hakka people celebrate the New Year from the 1st of January until the 15th, the Lantern Festival. In celebration, many special festivities are held in the religious centers of Miaoli, a major Hakka township.
During these events, people pray for a good harvest year. They also believe they can bring the auspicious and keep the evil away.
Miaoli City: Bombing dancing dragons with firecrackers
“Huo Pang Lung,” meaning bombing dragons with firecrackers in the Hakka dialect, is a historic tradition. It can suppress the evil and bring in the good. The flamboyant and exciting New Year festivity is held at the Lantern Festival. Today, it is not only held to welcome the spring and receive good luck, but also to relive tradition and pass down the Hakka culture.
Zongmei Community, Zhunan Township: bombing Lord Handan
It is said that Lord Handan was afraid of cold. Whenever he marched on the evening of Lantern Festival, people would throw firecrackers at him to keep him warm. It was also believed that the more firecrackers one threw, the more money he or she would make in the coming year. With time, “bombing Lord Handan” becomes a tradition during the Lantern Festival. Today, firing firecrackers not only brings money, but expels bad luck!
Shuangtan Community, Sanyi Township: The Dragon of Cloud and Fire
The Shuangtan Community in Sanyi celebrates the Lantern Festival in a special way. Residents make straw dragons for a round-the-community parade. As they march, they also hold lit incense sticks in their hands. When looking at the dragon from afar, the dragon seems to be dancing amidst clouds and fire, especially after sunset. The activity is meant to invoke blessings, expel illness and pests, and bring happiness and peace.