The Miaoli County government organized the annual “Miaoli Hakka Tung Flower Wedding” on April 21st at the Miaoli Tung Flower Park for 102 prospective couples to share their joy and be blessed by 5,000 friends, relatives and family members in the blooming tungoil woods. The Magistrate Liu Zheng-hong wished the couples a bright future with lots of love.
2013 marks the 8th year of the “Miaoli Hakka Tung Flower Wedding,” which has become one of the most popular group wedding events in Taiwan. The total 102 spaces were fully booked three days after the registration was open to the public. Among the soon-to-be-married couples, 57 are local Miaoli residents, while the other 45 couples came from different counties in Taiwan; some actually travelled from as far away as Tainan. This year, most of the registered couples are similar in age (around 25-35 years old), suggesting that group weddings have become a fashionable choice among the younger generation. The new Taiwanese Hokkien singer Shao Da-lun not only served as the spokesperson for the 2013 Tung Flower Wedding, but also made his own wedding vows with his girlfriend on that very day.
Unlike before, this year the couples were encouraged to put on their traditional costumes or wedding garments that have special meanings to them. One of the couples, Mr. Wang and Ms. Chan, dressed like an emperor and a queen on that day as they both enjoy watching traditional Qing Dynasty TV dramas. As a courtesy, a Tainan-based wedding dress company, Just Marry, also sponsored 10 Hakka-styled wedding gowns for prize drawing. Some of the lucky brides got to take beautiful pictures in the blooming tung woods as a result.
In addition to the solemn traditional wedding ceremony, the organizer also prepared some special, loving little games in which the couples were asked to feed each other “candies of five different flavors” – from sour to sweet, as a way to remind them to share all the sweet and bitterness in future life. Finally, the couples kissed each other for 13 seconds, with their friends and family cheering around them, as a symbol of eternal love.
To celebrate the completion of the wedding, the Miaoli County government also prepared six local feature gifts to shower the couples with love and joy. The feature gifts are “a two-Kg quilt with pure silk stuffing,” “a ceramic cup set with the couples names inscribed,” “a voucher of a resort hotel in Miaoli,” “a White Tip Oolong Tea gift box,” “ten boxes of tung flower-shaped wedding cookies” and “a luggage case made by a Miaoli local manufacturer.” All of gifts are rich in traditional Hakka cultures and were given to the newly wed as the County government’s genuine wishes for all participating couples.