"Heaven Piercing Day"

  • 03 March, 2018
  • jvantrieste
Curious John

For most people in Taiwan, the Lunar New Year wraps up fifteen days after it begins with the Lantern Festival. By this point, the feasting has ended and workers have been back at the job for over a week. But for Taiwan’s Hakka community, the end of the holiday season hasn’t quite arrived until one final hurrah. Twenty days into the new year, groups of Hakka people gather together to observe Tianchuanri, literally “Heaven Piercing Day”. This is the anniversary of a legendary event that’s turned in today’s Taiwan into a celebration of Hakka culture, a National Hakka Day of sorts. What is this legend? What makes this day so special to Hakka people? And where does it get its peculiar name? Here to shed light on Tianchuanri is Chiang Kuang-ta, director of RTI’s Hakka language service.