Halfway to NoWhere

Ranting and Complaints of Life in Taiwan

Samba Parade – Taiwan Style

Guy wearing a zebra mask saluting the crowd

Guy wearing a zebra mask saluting the crowd

Many people have seen photos or footages of the world-famous Brazil Carnival. However, not many realize that Taiwan has a similar bright-color-and-flashy carnival of its own. Well, at least I didn’t.

A lady dressed in Samba Carnival-style outfit dancing at the parade

A lady dressed in Samba Carnival-style outfit dancing at the parade

It all came up during a conversation I had with my fellow photo enthusiast. We were talking about what interesting places or events in the city that’s worthy of a photo trip. Out of the blues, he pulled out a photo showing an Indian couple in traditional clothing dancing with a street performer in front of the CKS Memorial Hall.

“Hey, interesting picture there. What event was that?”

This was the first time I heard the name “Hope Carnival.” I was delighted to year that the event has become more or less an annual event, and feature participants who dress up in all types of colorful ethnic clothing.

A reveler in bright red clothing and wearing a mask

A reveler in bright red clothing and wearing a mask

Of course, Taiwan is no Brazil, so not surprisingly the event lacks the flow and scale of the authentic event. However, what they lack the participants cover with Taiwan-style gears – including aborigine costumes and instruments. Thinking back, it was actually quite a sight to see aborigine elementary school kids playing drums a-la marching band style while walking forward in unison.

Young students in indigenous outfit drumming away

Young students in indigenous outfit drumming away

Now, as an event with relatively short history, the Dream Carnival nonetheless boasts several floats. The one I remember the most was the water buffalo float, which is rather unique and interesting. There were also floats with mythological creature and people dressed in REALLY bizarre costumes…

A gigantic float featuring a farmer and a Taiwan cow

A gigantic float featuring a farmer and a Taiwan cow

Guess who's running on the street?

Guess who's running on the street?

Purple Legion

Purple Legion

Venerable elders of indigenous tribes appearing on the scene

Venerable elders of indigenous tribes appearing on the scene

The zebra man dancing away

The zebra man dancing away

Young and old dressed up as lady bugs

Young and old dressed up as lady bugs

A belly dancer jumping in front of a Pharoah-face float

A belly dancer jumping in front of a Pharoah-face float

Other interesting personnel include an American chief painted in green demonstrating the art of fire breathing – though I really had no idea why he appeared with a group of 1970s-look-alike rock band.

Green chief demonstrating how to light a torch

Green chief demonstrating how to light a torch

Unfortunately, I didn’t have time to stay for the party at the Ketagalan Boulevard in front of the Presidential Office.

A straw giant appears in the midst of the parade

A straw giant appears in the midst of the parade

In case anyone’s interested, here’s the link to the website of Hope Parade:

http://www.goodall.org.tw/2009parade/index_e.htm

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October 20, 2009 - Posted by | Good excuse for photos

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