Taiwan celebrates a great number of historical, folk, and international festivals. To give people a better understanding of the rich diversity of folk festivals in Taiwan, this Post has planned a series of stamps on the subject. The first in the series, a souvenir sheet, takes the Yimin Festival as its theme. The souvenir sheet is denominated at NT$20.00 (comprising four stamps, each with a denomination of NT$5.00.)According to historical records, in 1786, during the Cing dynasty, Lin Shuang-wen led an uprising against Manchu rule. Fighting spread throughout the island. The Lin family in Liujhangli (today’s Liujia, Chubei City) recruited villagers and organized a militia with the Hoklos in Jhujhan and some Pingpu indigenous people. The militia defended their homes and helped the Cing army put down the rebellion. In 1788, after the uprising was put down, the Cing emperor Cianlong awarded the militia a wooden memorial inscribed with the characters “bao jhong” (commending loyalty), which he wrote himself , in praise of the martyred militiamen. The Yimin Festival has since become the biggest celebration of Hakka people in Taiwan. The ceremony starts with the erection of lantern poles to invite ghosts and deities to come join in the celebration, which is followed by the installation of the deity Dashihye, the release of water lanterns, pig and goat horn competitions, and the three solemn consecrations to the martyred militiamen. Finally, the Pudu (universal salvation) ceremony is performed during worship of Tiangong (the Heavenly Father). The four stamps in the souvenir sheet feature the exterior of the Sinpu Yimin Temple of Hsinchu (Taiwan’s most popular Yimin temple), and three ceremonial rituals: a pig competition, the erection of lantern poles, and eating sweet congee. Meanwhile, the background of the souvenir sheet showcases the magnificent swallowtail roof and the pailou (decorated archway) of the “bao jhong” pavilion of the temple.
(1) First Day Cover in large size to be sold at NT$3.00 apiece.(2) Folder especially prepared for the stamps to be sold at NT$8.00 apiece.(3) Folder with crystal mount for better protection of the stamps to be sold at NT$8.00 apiece.(4) Loose-leaf stamp album page with plastic cover to be sold at NT$16.00 apiece.(5) Pre-cancelled First Day Cover affixed with a souvenir sheet to be sold at NT$23.00 apiece.To purchase relative stamps, please go directly to the post office branches, or order on line at http://stamp.post.gov.tw