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2002 I-lan International Children's Folklore & Folkgame Festival

Information provided by the Lan Yang Cultural and Educational Foundation with editing and additional reporting by Selena Huang / Translated by Cheryl Robbins
Photos by Huang Shih-chi and Lin Hsin-hung

The annual I-lan Children's Folklore & Folkgame Festival, which received a record 800,000 visitors last year, starts the first weekend in July and promises to be as popular as ever, with performances, exhibits, games and water fun for the whole family.

Multi-cultural performances are the focus of this unique event. This year, 17 countries will be represented, including Russia, Italy, Yugoslavia, Korea, Nepal and Sri Lanka, bringing music and dance shows and handicrafts demonstrations that provide opportunities to learn about a number of countries.

The festival's exhibitions are centered around the theme, "The Remotest Corners of the World are Just Next Door". As in previous years, topics will include the history and culture of a number of different countries. Information is presented with photographs, text and unique objects. It is hoped that visitors will take away with them the idea that children's play knows no national borders.

Serge Durin is well-known in France for creating unique musical instruments and promises to bring to this festival a series of unique musical sculptures. These large musical instruments will be housed in a traditional Taiwanese bamboo hut, where Chinese opera and percussion performances will also take place.

In Chinese culture, children like to wear fragrant sachets during the Dragon Boat Festival. In Germany, there is the famous fairy tale about a pied piper who uses music to lead all of the rats out of the city. During Easter in the United States, children dye eggs and, on Halloween, families carve jack-o-lanterns. In the festival's celebration gallery, participants can learn about different holidays and festivals from cultures around the world.

An exhibition of illustrations from Hans Christian Andersen's fairy tales promises to be a hit with visitors. Original illustrations, as well as those produced by 16 international artists, capture the essence of Andersen's "magic garden" of stories.

The games area features a 3-D maze. Those who have visited this festival in previous years will find that a lot of changes have been made to this feature. Attractions include a log bridge, spinning platform, viewing tower, obstacle course and fun house.

The water games area is the most tempting part of the festival on a hot summer's day. Take the time to play in the "water maze", which includes columns of water that appear and disappear under computer control. A DJ provides music and there is a light show to go along with the water fun. There are also large and small "reverse water mazes". These are the combination of music, a light show, giant waterbeds and water columns.

Follow the twists and turns of the "Amazing Tunnel" and experience water columns shooting at you in all directions. Further along, in the simulated typhoon section, experience the intensity of gale-force winds. You will need to bring goggles and earplugs to enter this attraction.

Clearly, with so much to see and do, it isn't difficult to understand why this is such a popular event.

Event Information:
Dates: July 6 to August 18, 2002
Hours: 8:30 am- 8:30 pm
Location: Ching Shui Park, Dung Shan River, Ilan
Admission: General NT$350 (weekends), NT$250 (weekdays) [same price for adults and children above 110 cm in height]; passes good for multiple visits are available for NT$600; free admission for children under 110 cm in height, senior citizens 65 and older and those with a disability certificate

International folk dance performances will take place in the Ilan County Performing Arts Hall
Dates and Times: Every Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 7:30 pm for the duration of the festival
Location: Ilan County Performing Arts Hall (106, WeiShui Rd., Ilan City; tel. 03-936-9115, ext.114¡^
Tickets: General NT$150; NT$120/person for groups of 10 to 19; NT$100/person for groups of 20 or more. Festival ticketholders can purchase tickets at the group rate.

For further information, contact the Lan Yang Cultural and Educational Foundation at (03) 931-0720 or the Ilan County Government Cultural Affairs Bureau at (03) 9322440, ext.361

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