|Festival Background
|Mud Parade and Contest
|Ping-Huei Lee &Shui-Po Huang Concert
|Siao-Chun Tai Concert
I. Introduction II. AboutXizhou
III. Xizhou and water IV. Introduction of the Black Mud Festival
I. Introduction

Xizhou Township is a hospitable village. When people come here, they will see a lot of farmland. Due to the fertile farmland, Xizhou can produce high quality agricultural products. If people want to know it, they can join Xizhou's most representative event "the Black Mud Festival". The festival has many activities to introduce the black mud and Xizhou features, allowing people to experience and understand local cultural feature of Xizhou.

II. AboutXizhou


Xizhou Township is located at the southernmost part of Changhua County in Taiwan, which separates Zhuoshui River in the south and faces Yunlin County. It is situated on the top of the Zhuoshui River alluvial fan. Xizhou Township covers an area of about 74 square kilometers. It is the third largest township in Changhua County. Within it, there are a total of 19 villages, 11 national primary and secondary schools. It is one of life circles for the students in MingDao University.

It is named Xizhou because it was Zhuoshui River alluvial riverbed, floating on the land (an alluvion in the river). In the past, Babuza lived along Jiumei Village, Xizhou Township. In the Qing Dynasty, it belonged to DongluoXibao. During the Japanese Colonial Period, Taiwan adopted city-town-village system, and it was renamed Xizhou Settlement and under administration of Beidou District, Taichū Prefecture, and the administration office (Zhuangyichang) was located in Xizhou Village (current). Thus, it was officially named Xizhou.

This is a distribution map of administration division of Xizhou


(1)Zhuoshui River

Zhuoshui River has been constantly changing since the written records began. Many changes have taken place in the lower reaches of the river, causing threat to the people in the Zhuoshui River valley, which resulted in their relocation all the time. Before construction of embankment on the two banks of Zhuoshui River, Zhuoshui River always changed its watercourse, which resulted in frequent flood disasters. The Old Zhuoshui River flowed out from the mountainous area and to Ershui. Near Linnei, the river is divided to four watercourses from the south to the north. In the northernmost side, there is Old Zhuoshui River, current Zhuoshui River, New Huwei River and Huwei River at upper reach of Beigang River. In July 1880, serious flood occurred at the lower reach of Zhuoshui River. After the disaster, the Qing Dynasty government built 1000m BitzetouEmbankment on the northern bank and 2,240m Xiashuibu Embankment to prevent the flood from flowing into Old Zhuoshui River. However, Wuxu Flood occurred in 1898 and caused disorder in Caoling Lake at the upper reach of Chingshui River which is Zhuoshui River tributary. Zhuoshui River diverted its course to the north, and flood was drained to Old Zhuoshui River, and Old Zhuoshui River became the main stream at lower reach of Zhuoshui River.

Source: https://zh.wikipedia.org/wiki/濁水溪

(2)Agricultural history

The spirit of the Black Mud Festival mainly lies in the history of the Zhuoshui River basin. Zhuoshui River basin is an affluent plain since ancient times, where several historic events took place.

The earliest Babuza Tribe lived here. After Han people came to reclaim land, the Tribe’s land was occupied by the Han people, and conflicts between them often occurred. Also, due to frequent flooding of streams, the land was filled with many unknown risks. In the absence of the rule of law, Zhuoshui River basin became the battlefield for many weapon fights.

During the Japanese Colonial Era, after the Zhuoshui River embankment was built, the Zhuoshui River basin is situated in the current place, and the Old Zhuoshui River and the Huwei River became the tributaries. Meanwhile, the flood plains became an important place for stable production. In order to increase the output of sugar, the Governor Palace of Japan imposed a large amount of land, and formulated many unfair regulations to force farmers to plant sugarcane and sell sugarcane to commercial firms at unfair prices. This resulted in the outbreak of Erlin Sugarcane Farmer Protest. The headquarters of the controversial company of Lin Ben Yuan Company was located in Xizhou. After this incident, Lin Ben Yuan Company was acquired by YanShui Gang Sugar Refinery Corp.During the Second World War, Xizhou Sugar Factory was bombed by the U.S. military and almost cannot produce sugar.

This is a reading party of Erlin Sugarcane Farmer Protest

In response to the KMT-CPC civil war, the Kuomintang enhanced sugar production as a pillar of export economy in Taiwan. On the one hand, it carried out a green revolution of paddy cultivation under the aid of the United States and greatly increased grain output. Changnan Plain which has fertile alluvial black mud became an important place of producing rice and sugar, and supported Taiwan's economic and livelihood supplies from the 1950s to the 1960s. Taiwan Sugar Corporation was relocated to the current site of Xizhou Sugar Factory in 1955 and then moved back to Tainan in the 1970s, contributing prosperity of Xizhou.

In 2004, Ru-men Yang was dissatisfied with the government's accession to the WTO to import foreign rice, and placed "Rice Bomber" in Taipei which shocked Taiwan's society. Because of this event, the public began to care about the rural economy, education, culture and social welfare issues. A few years later, Yin-ning Wu wrote a book titled "Where are lakes and rivers" which observed the phenomenon of Taiwan’s rural areas and farmers, grieving over the history and social issues in rural areas: In 2010, Yin-ning Wu and his father Sheng Wu organized farmers and people from all walks of life to protest against KuoKuang Petrochemical to protect their hometown environment. In 2012, they protested against the Phase IV water diversion project of the Central Taiwan Science Park in 2012 and then the Changan Tire Industrial Zone in 2014, refusing to let the rural land and water sources be taken away by high-polluting industries and protecting the resources in the area.

This is the poster of the Rice Bomber
Source: goo.gl/rpPgKu
This is a picture of water conservation by Yin-ning Wu
Source: goo.gl/oeqYmB


Changan Plain was prosperous in the past, and now has been gradually deprived by unfair economy and declined to a backward and run-down cultural area. The Black Mud Festival is organized in order to re-establish a rural-based narrative model, to guide tourists and young people to understand the history and culture of the hometown, and to restore the local identity and industrial vitality.

Source: Revised from Xizhou Township Office Proposal on the Black Mud Festival


3.History of Xizhou Sugar Factory

(1)Origin of Black and White Tubes

Xizhou had a very important sugar factory, which is called Xizhou Sugar Factory.

In 1909, in order to encourage sugar production, the Japanese government demanded that Taiwan's wealthy businessman Banqiao Lin Ben Yuan Family relocate their assets from China to Taiwan. In order to protect their own assets, they obeyed instructions of Japanese government and set up the Lin Ben Yuan Sugar Refinery Corp. They used government power to buy people's land, set up factory buildings, and laid handcar tracks.

The chimney of the sugar factory was initially made of iron, and the factory was afraid of rust for a long time, so the appearance of the chimney was painted with black paint, which is the origin of the "black tube." In 1925, Erlin Sugarcane Farmers Protest occurred, and farmers’ anger was spread from Erlin to Xizhou, indirectly resulted in that Lin Ben Yuan Sugar Refinery Corp was acquired by the new "Yan Shui Gang Sugar Refinery Corp. The new company increased production capacity of Xizhou Sugar Factory, and built new factory building whose chimney was poured with reinforced concrete, the appearance of cement was gray after drying, which is the origin of "white tube".

Today's Xizhou urban area was once called "Corp Street”. In the past, the daily life of people on the street was closely linked to the sugar factory, and two striking chimneys often come to people’s mind. Later "Black and White Tubes" became synonym of Xizhou Sugar Factory, but also used to describe nonsense (HeiBai Jiang) in kidding. Now Xizhou Sugar Factory's ruins of Black and White Tubes have been gone, and only the old photos and memories can be used as historical testimony of the Taiwan's common saying.

(2)History of Black and White Tube

In 1909, Banqiao Lin Ben Yuan Family founded "Lin Ben Yuan Sugar Refinery" in Xizhou Township. Why did they select Xizhou? 1. Because there were already many sugar factories in the south of Zhuoshui River that may prevent them from making money. 2. Because they saw Cizai aqueduct, which can supply water for sugar refinery and meet water consumption of the sugar refinery.

In 1913, "Lin Ben Yuan Sugar Refinery" increased its capital and renamed as "Lin Ben Yuan Sugar Refinery Corp.", and the refinery buildings and machinery were mainly located in Xizhou Township. The handcart tracks ran through the extended farm to now Erlin, Chutang and Dacheng.

In 1925, there was an outbreak of Erlin Sugarcane Farmer Protest. The sugarcane farmers flocked to protest against the unfair purchasing price of the Sugar Refinery. The protest caused farmer movement throughout Taiwan. At that time, internal strife occurred in Lin Ben Yuan Sugar Refinery Corp. Lin Ben Yuan Sugar Refinery Corp was finally acquired by Yan Shui Gang Sugar Refinery Corp. During the Second World War, the U.S. military bombed Taiwan. Because the sugar industry was the major source of income for Taiwan’s famers, Xizhou Sugar Factory and the surrounding were bombed. The wooden Shi Cui Lou Club was also destroyed in the war. In 1945, Japan was defeated, and Taiwan was ruled by KMT Party of ROC.

After fleeing to Taiwan, the KMT government took over and merged sugar refineries of Japan's era with establishment of "Taiwan Sugar Corporation" or "Taisugar." "Xizhou Sugar Refinery" was renamed as "Xizhou Sugar Factory" and continued to produce sugar. In 1954, Xizhou Sugar Factory was merged into Xihu Sugar Refinery, and part of Taisugar Headquarters was relocated to Xizhou Township. The refinery buildings which did not produce sugar were converted to offices for use. The Japanese-style dormitories were assigned to employees, including Taisugar staff training center, Nan-Jou Elementary School where children of Taisugar employees studied, surrounding theaters, markets, tea house, hotels and etc. Until the 1970s, Taiwan Sugar Corp. was relocated to Tainan, and this was the thriving period of Taisugar in Xizhou Township.

In the 1980s, Taisugarcut back its output. Instead, it began massively selling land and developing residential areas, and many precious old trees were cut down. The factory buildings such as the Japanese-style dormitories and Shi Cui Lou Buildingwere demolished. The factory machinery and equipment were sold to Southeast Asia. This history is unbearable to recall. The land of Taisugar was taken over by Township Office in 1999 and converted into a Forest Park. The place of the factory is the site where Black Mud Festival is held.

This is an old photo of Xizhou Sugar Factory and Black and White Tubes

Source: Revised from Xizhou Township Office Proposal on the Black Mud Festival

III. Xizhou and water

1.Cizai aqueduct

Xizhou's people say, "Xizhou cannot be without Cizai aqueduct”, and this shows importance of the aqueduct in Xizhou. In fact, in the Qing Dynasty, ancestors reclaimed land here. In 1901, Cizai aqueduct began to cut, and was completed in 1909. It is the first official aqueduct in Taiwan. In 1911, Zhuoshui River embankment was built. With Cizai aqueduct, the people can divert the Zhuoshui River to irrigate their farmland. The river water which contains silt and many nutrients can increase fertility of the farmland. After harvest of corps, the Zhuoshui River water is accumulated in the farmland to turn the dry land into fertile land, and farmers can use the natural nutrients for free. It is a good helper for farmers.

2.Campaign against water diversion project

Cizai aqueduct nourishes the land of Xizhou. However, in 2011, one special pipeline was planned to be built for the fourth-phase water diversion project at the Central Taiwan Science Park on the lower reach, 66,000 tons of water in Zhuoshui River was diverted every day from the upstream Chi-Chi Weir to the Park. As the local residents found the pipeline was laid in Dazhuang village which is Xizhou water source, the farmers protested the project. It was difficult for farmers to protest the project. Especially during the busy season, despite of labor shortage, they had to go north for protest. The farmers said:They are “very busy” but still have to join the “organization to protest science park water diversion plan" to contribute to agricultural development in Xizhou Township. This "campaign against water diversion plan” aroused the people's attention to “allocation of water resources", but also strengthened the Xizhou villagers’ affection towards this township and their cohesion.

This is a photo of water conservation campaign by villagers



Source: Revised from Xizhou Township Office Proposal on the Black Mud Festival

IV. Introduction of the Black Mud Festival

1.Origin of the Black Mud Festival

Zhuoshui River's mud is a gift given by the god to the farmers. Zhuoshui River with a length of 187km came down from the Central Mountain Range, bringing some of the mountain alluvium which accumulates into vast black mud plains. The plains become an important place for production of Mi Tang in Taiwan. The black mud provides natural resources for Changhua’s people, and also creates a precious and rich cultural landscape.

In recent years, in order to promote rural culture, environmental and ecological conservation and agricultural products in Xizhou Township, the communities, schools and rural organizations hold the Black Mud Festival. In addition to the community's grand activity of street parade, there are rural music performances, farmer's market and rural trips, etc. In the past 7 years, Xizhou has held 8 sessions of the Black Mud Festival. With the joint efforts of the villagers, the Black Mud Festival has gradually become the cultural festival of Xizhou Township.

One year the Black Mud Festival was held to thank Mother River “Zhuoshui Lake” through artistic creation, Black Mud Amusement Parks (mud pool), Mud Field Contest and parent-child education and recreational ideas. Parents carried children to experience the black mud, and reclaimed their childhood memories and also let the children feel grateful to land. The festival made the people who participated into the Black Mud Festival knew the river is sustainable and fertile.

Finally, more local stories can be found through this activity which also makes local residents conserve their cultural resources and create new hometown. The accumulated foundation can also enhance local visibility and help create new tourist resources and implement some policies to activate rural areas.

Source: Revised from Xizhou Township Office Proposal on the Black Mud Festival

2.Activity plan of the Black Mud Festival








Tai-Jih Percussion Group

Community and school performances

Farmer’s market, Black Mud Amusement Parks

Ping-huei Lee &Shui-po Huang
Community performance

Farmer’s market, Black Mud Amusement Parks




Community and school performances

Xizhou Chef Contest




Mud Field Contest & Clay Parade

Black Mud Contest

Kou Chou Ching




Golden Bough Theater「Remembrance of Troy」

Wei-jie Huang

Bobby Chen & New Formosa Band


Siao-chun Tai Solo

Schedule of Black Mud Festival

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    No.1, Xiagan Rd., Xizhou Township, Changhua County 524, Taiwan (R.O.C.)
TEL:04-8802151   FAX:04-8803142