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Three new intangible cultural assets announced in Northern Taiwan

Miaoli County recently recognized three new important cultural treasures in the region.

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Ritual of Nine Offerings at Quan Hua Temple Miaoli

Ritual of Nine Offerings at Quan Hua Temple Miaoli (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – The Miaoli County Government Bureau of Culture and Tourism approved applications for three new intangible cultural properties, as reported by the CNA.

The first of the three new cultural properties is the Ritual of Nine Offerings at the Lion Mountain Quan Hua Temple (獅山勸化堂九獻禮), a regional Taoist ceremony.

The Quan Hua Temple was built in 1897 and is the oldest temple in the area. It is primarily dedicated to the Jade Emperor of the Taoist religion, and is famous for its pagoda and ornate stone carvings.

The Ritual of Nine Offerings reflects an ancient rite, and has been an important religious event for local residents of various ethnicities in the area to propitiate and ask favors from the Taoist pantheon, for over one hundred years.

The ritual was banned for some time during the Japanese occupation, but has remained part of a living cultural tradition until the modern day.

Three new intangible cultural assets announced in Northern Taiwan

Photo of Quan Hua Temple (Image: Wikimedia Commons)
The other two items announced by the bureau are both honors bestowed upon individuals for their unique contributions to the culture and folk arts of the region in Miaoli.

Wang Qingfang (王慶芳) was recognized for his exceptional skill and prolific history of performing Qing-style opera performances (亂彈戲曲). Wang was raised in a family of traditional opera performers, and dedicated himself from a young age to the art form.

The Miaoli government recognizes his important contribution to traditional theater styles in Miaoli as well as Taiwan.

The third intangible cultural property, and the second individual to be newly honored by the local government is Xie Xiankui (謝顯魁) for his outstanding abilities as a musical performer and representative of the distinct historical Hakka music style of Northern Taiwan, which involves 8 varieties of instruments (客家八音).

Xie Xiankui has been recognized for his exceptional musical talents and for maintaining a musical tradition that reflects traditional Hakka style musical opera and tea picking culture.

Three new intangible cultural assets announced in Northern Taiwan

Northern Taiwan Hakka music performance (Image courtesy of Miaoli County Government)

With the addition of the three new intangible cultural properties, Miaoli now has a total of 22 intangible assets. The local government hopes that recognition of the new intangible assets will increase awareness of the county's rich cultural history and vibrant folk traditions.