The Ruifang Torch Festival was held for the third time on February 11, 2017. In terms of the history of activities, it does not have a long one but it can be considered the Ruifang area's most representative cultural heritage festival. The Research Team has interviewed the organizers of the Ruifang Torch Festival, who are also the Chairman and the Executive Secretary ofRuifang Old Street Culture and Tourism Promotion Associationto understand the significance of promoting the Ruifang Torch Festival.
The Association’sleaders had discussed hosting an activity that would be representative and thought of an activity that would belong to the Ruifang area.

When the Ruifang Torch Festival was created, organizers hoped to instill two meanings behind the event. The first was to revive childhoodmemories. When older generations were younger, no one had money and during the Lantern Festival, they would collect bamboo sticks in themorning and make torches with them. At night, they would go out walking with their torches, just like with lanterns. During those days, the inhabitants of Ruifang were like a big family and children would stop by each neighbor's home. These days, with economic prosperity, no one plays with torches anymore. The idea of a Torch Festival is to revive our community’s childhood memories, our nostalgic memories.

The second meaning is to associate it with Ruifang's local story.
On May 27, 1940 during the Japanese rule, five special eventsoccurred inTaiwan, one of which was the Ruifang Incident. At that time, a well-known local celebrity, Li Jian-Xing and hisextended family along with hundreds of friends and employees were framed and arrested. In their oral historynarrations, local seniors have mentioned that, after the incident, Li Jian-Xing was seen, day and night, wandering along what’s known today as rural road North 36, carrying lighting equipment and looking for a hiding place. During his period of hiding, only relatives and friends could meet him secretly at night. With his torch flame, he showed them the position of his hiding place. After the Taiwan Retrocession, while Li Jian-Xing returned to a once familiar place, an immediate scene touched himemotionally and caused him to carve on a rocky slope 500 hundred meters away from the gate of Xiuqi Mountain. He wrote, Dragon in depth, to depict the situation at that time.Those characters, in conjunction with the traditional lantern festival night procession activities, provide aplace of historical landscape.

2017 Ruifang Torch Festival

(photographed by Special Topic Team)
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