In his speech, HAC Minister Yiong especially mentioned that it can be seen that all the festival participants wear masks, indicating Taiwanese people show their “Yimin spirit” for the country by complying with COVID-19 regulations during the pandemic to make the island the safest place on the planet.
The Minister said that solidarity Taiwanese people demonstrate to the world in this difficult time is the “Yimin spirit.” He believes that, through the cultural tradition of the Yimin festival, the Yimin spirit will be important spiritual strength for Taiwan’s moving forward.
Yimin is a collective term for Hakka martyrs who sacrificed their lives to defend their homeland in the past.
The festival practically still maintains the tradition of enshrinement and worship this year. It is hoped that, through the Yimin festival, the cultural identity of Hakka culture in New Taipei City will be enhanced and the unique Hakka folk belief in northern Taiwan will be passed down.
The Hakka Yimin Cultural Festival kicked off at New Taipei City Hakka Museum with a series of activities, including performances brought by Hakka folk song clubs and the exhibition of “creative sacred pigs.” The sacred pig competition is part of a sacrificial ritual in the festival but gradually is replaced with a similar animal- and eco-friendly alternative because of the controversy over animal rights.
In response to the pandemic, virtual activities also took place, including a live stream of the worship ceremony, allowing people to have more opportunities to participate in the festival.