Yilan International Children’s Folklore & Folkgame Festival in Taiwan
The Yilan International Children’s Folklore & Folkgame Festival (YICFFF) 2019 is to be held from 5 July to 18 August around the Dongshan River Water Park in Yilan County, Taiwan. Yilan County is situated behind the Central Mountain and in the northeast part of Taiwan.
YICFFF is an international festival, celebrated by the Yilan County government with the coordination of the Cultural Affairs Bureau, Yilan County government, and the Lanyang Cultural and Educational Foundation in Taiwan and has been held nineteen times since 1996. The festival aims to provide children with a happy event to share with parents and friends as well as befriend cultures from around the world. It has been listed as one of the twelve most important monthly activities, defined by the Tourist Bureau in Taiwan.
A source from the YICFFF organization said “Regardless of nationality and time, folk games play an important role in human growing process. With technical improvement and social change, folk games have evident change in form and material. Nevertheless, it is a pity that the essential elements of folk games such as regional particularity, creativity, and collectivity, are gradually losing interest. It’s better to encourage children to experience a completely new game and to rebuild personal relationships from this festival with different cultural bases, self-establishment of game rules, and collective participation than to let them pursue self-achievement alone in an existing and formulaic game.”
This festival combines multiple forms, including international performances, exhibitions, games, and exchange and presenting children’s games. It has had 369 foreign participating groups from 97 countries around the world until 2018. The participating groups in the festival not only make performances here, presenting the folk art of their countries to the public, but also have chance to make exchange with different groups/people. In addition to the artistic and cultural exchange among the participating performing groups, there is also skill and craft exchange between the national and international handicraft specialists. During the festival, the participating groups have chance to get along with the local people, experience the local life, and get to know the culture in this land through the different activities arranged by the festival organization.
The source also said, “Imagine the shock of the children from inner Mongolia when they saw the extensive ocean in Toucheng; the Russian kids from the Orthodox Church praying and drawing lots in the temple of Yilan; the thousands of Taiwanese kids raising their hands and learning Puerto Rician folk dance with a Canadian teacher; the musicians from Czech Republic, Israel and Italy played traditional music.”
More information on this event can be available at http://www.yicfff.tw/