November 27, 2010

Nanpu Stone Lord Festival

[搓湯圓比賽] Rice Ball making contest

位於新竹縣的南埔村,是少數保留傳統灌溉水圳及客家祭祀文化的農村,其中,石爺祭就是目前僅在南埔還能見到的傳統祭典。石爺公是南埔很重要的信仰,每年的石爺祭活動內容包括了成年禮、搓湯圓比賽、農夫市集及體驗客家美食等活動。

Nanpu Village is located in Hsinchu County, and one of the few villages that has irrigation canal and keep the Hakka sacrifice culture. “Shiye Festival” (Stone Lord) can only be seen in Nanpu. Shiye is an important faith in Nanpu. The festival includes Adult Ceremony, Rice Ball making contest, Farmer Market, and Hakka delicacy tasting activities.

[石爺公] (Stone Lord)

[平安符] (Protective Talisman)

相傳拜石爺可以讓孩子身體建康平安,傳統習俗會將家中的孩子送去給石爺當義子,以祈求石爺保佑。同時會準備一條紅線,串上平安符戴在脖子上,每年石爺公生日時,都要前往膜拜並換一次新的平安符,一直到長大成人為止。

According to the legend, the Stone Lord can keep a child safe and healthy. During worshipping, families offer their children to Stone Lord to be its god-children. Families also ask their children to wear Protective Talisman with the red thread. During Stone Lord’s birthday each year, families will ask for the new Protective Talisman for their children until they turn into adults.

依循古禮的成年禮儀式-扛蔗架,有象徵「要能肩負責任」之意。

Follow the rule of the Adult Ceremony- “Carry the Cane Rack” means to carry the responsibilities.

[成年禮的加冠儀式] Adult Crown Ceremony

成年禮是村落裡16-20歲的青少年皆可參加,當天會收到數樣具有象徵意義的禮物,如尺、鏡子及印章等等(意義如下),接著由長輩替晚輩繫上頭巾,有祝福之意。

尺:做人要中規中矩

鏡子:時時反省

印章:要負責任

The teens from 16-20 year old can attend the Adult Ceremony. They will receive a few symbolic gifts, such as a ruler, a mirror, and a stamp. The elderly would tie the head handkerchief on the teens for blessing.

Ruler means to be integrity.

Mirror means self evaluation

Stamps means to carry the responsibilities

在活動廣場上,有免費的客家美食可供品嚐,這是客家傳統美食-加在甜湯裡的米台目。

Free tasting of Hakka delicacies are also offered during the event. Here is the Hakka traditional food- The rice noodles in the sweet soup.

[用黑糖薑汁湯煮甜湯圓] The rice ball in the brown sugar ginger soup.

現場還有搓湯圓比賽,作法是將搓揉好的糯米團分成大小一致的團塊,再搓成圓型後用大拇指在中間壓一個凹窩就可以了。除了村民外,來賓也可以加入比賽。

Here is the Rice Ball making contest. It is making the same size rice balls from the glutinous rice dough and rubbing them into a round shape. Press the center with your thumb. Besides the villagers, all visitors can attend.

photo by Frances

搓湯圓講起來好像很容易,但實際製作則不是這麼回事。輪到我這組上場時,整個可以說是亂七八糟,我們抓不到訣竅,糯米團一揉就散,急死了圍觀的人,鄉民的叔伯阿姨你一句我一句的,甚至有人忍不住直接幫我們搓了起來。雖然,最後我們這組落得最後一名,但大夥玩得還真是開心,笑聲不斷!

It sounds like very easy, actually is not. It was a chaos when it was our turn. The dough became loose each time we rubbed. The villagers could not wait and wanted to help us. Although we got the last place of the game, we all had a great laugh!

南埔村的水圳有一百六十餘年歷史,但曾面臨水道淤塞嚴重導致農地常年缺水。兩年前村民達成共識讓農地停耕一年,以進行水圳的修繕工程。清淤可不是件簡單的事,要深入陰暗狹窄的水圳隧道(有些寬度還不到60公分),身陷在約六十公分深的軟泥,然後用人工一鏟鏟的開挖,再一擔擔將淤泥扛出,十分的辛苦及粗重費力。

The water canal has been in Nanpu Village for 160 years; however, the blockage of waterways caused the severe water shortage on the rice field. About two years ago, all villagers agreed to stop their work for a year to repair the water canal. Cleaning the canal was not a simple job. They needed to work in the narrow dark water canals (some canals are less than 60cm width) with shovels and carried out the mud all the time. What a hard and heavy work!

[因日前下雨所以水變得很混濁,平時這裡可是清澈如鏡哦!]

南埔村裡有兩座鄉民分工合作,用傳統工法建造的洗衫亭。婦女們在這裡邊洗衣邊話家常,洗衫亭成了人們聯繫感情之所。

Because of the recent rain, the water has become cloudy, or it would have been very clear.

Villagers built a Washing Cloth Pavilion. Women wash clothes and chat here. The pavilion has become their place for chatting.

乘牛車漫步村落是南埔的一大觀光特色,周末每二十分鐘一班,平常日若想要搭乘就要事前預約了。

Ride on an ox cart is one of the major tourist features in Nanpu. It operates every 20 minutes, and reservation is needed during weekdays.

乾淨清澈且水流不斷的水圳,讓南埔重現昔日的美麗水稻景色。村民齊心努力的結果,不僅讓自己的家園變的更美好,也讓這裡成了遊客體驗客家農村生活的好地方哦!

The clean and non-stop water canal has brought back the rice field for Nanpu. With the villagers’ effort, the village has become more beautiful, and provides visitors a Hakka rural life experience! Read More

9 comments:

London Caller said...

I'm actually Chinese Hakka. ;)
But we don't eat the rice noodles and sweet soup you mentioned above.
We do have a dish that's similar to their rice balls, we call it 算盤子, it's however made from yam not rice.

fufu said...

wow wow the adult crown ceremony quite similar to japan's 成人式 :)

Zhu said...

That's an interesting ceremony! The little red pouch and the talisman ring a bell, I have seen that somewhere before, maybe at my friends'.

San said...

WOW! 真好.. 拍完又可以吃~

kristen and micki said...

@Londoncaller- I checked online and saw 算盤子 dishes. 算盤子 does look like the Rice Ball, but is prepared in salt dishes. I would like to try, it must be yummy!

@Fufu- Interesting! That is how Japanese do too..

@Zhu- You can also find lots of red talisman in the temples too.

@San-謝謝 San! Indeed that was very fun and the food was so good! :)

London Caller said...

Yes, it's a savoury dish. It's yummy, I love it lot.
But making it is rather time consuming.
You can also substitute the yams with potatoes.
I do that here since yams are harder to find in England.

There's another famous Hakka dish called 雞酒.
I also like it a lot. ;)

kristen and micki said...

@Londoncaller- Yam can be found everywhere in US especially near holidays. The 雞酒 looks like 台灣麻油雞! Yummy~~

IrmaU said...

Hey! This festival sounds interesting! Is it annual or monthly? I'm planning my trip around Taiwan, so wonder is it possible to see it in spring?

micki and kristen said...

Hi Irma The festival is held on 4/28/2012, (4/8 Lunar Year Calendar). It's an annual event. Hope you will be able to attend!

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