When West Meats East: Mayor Huang Arranges for Martin Hurkens and Mary-Jess to Attend the See Xigang Cultural Festival
As preparation for the 80th Xigang Qingan Temple pilgrimage set to take place next year (2021), the See Xigang Cultural Festival was held at Bafen Guma Temple, which is where the pilgrimage originated. In addition to visiting Bafen Guma Temple on December 12 to promote the event, Mayor Huang Wei-che also extended an invitation to Dutch singer Martin Hurkens and English singer Mary-Jess to attend the See Xigang Cultural Festival and experience Taiwan’s Taoist culture on December 13, where the two artists from western society have the chance to enjoy the festive atmosphere and local customs.
As Tainan is Taiwan’s center of worship, temples and folk festivals are important local cultural heritages that play a significant role in the daily lives of Tainan’s residents. The Mayor invited Hurkens and Mary-Jess to attend the See Xigang Cultural Festival, which offers them a glimpse into the authentic lives of locals as well as Xigang’s traditional beauty. Next year marks the 240th year since the Xigang Qingan Temple pilgrimage was first held. Mayor Huang is eager to see such a longstanding tradition be passed down through generations and made aware to Taiwanese citizens and foreigners alike.
In addition to visiting temples and appreciating the beauty of traditional temple architecture, Hurkens and Mary-Jess also experienced Xigang’s reed culture by visiting the only reed maze in Taiwan. Weaving their way through the reed maze, which is shaped like a mythical carp, Hurkens and Mary-Jess exclaimed at how interesting the structure is. They were also quite impressed by the delicious pastries made from locally sourced sesame.