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Seasonal Pastries of Tainan: Best Enjoyed Together
This year’s Tainan Cultural Heritage Month focused on the theme of ‘Folk Art Fun’, and explored the aesthetics and presence of folk art and culture in our daily lives. On the afternoon of Sep. 22, the Eagle Hill Restaurant (former Uguisu Ryôri) hosted the Seasonal Pastries event, showcasing various traditional pastries made in Tainan during different seasonal festivals. Members of the public were invited to come and enjoy this Autumn-afternoon pastry extravaganza!

As Taiwan's oldest city, Tainan grants visitors a unique insight into Taiwan's history. Tainan's abundance of traditional pastries originates from the wide range of folk religions and religious ceremonies traditionally practiced in the city. These pastries come in all sorts of different flavors, both sweet and savory, and reflect the ways in which these religious ceremonies were held in accordance with natural seasonal changes. They serve as a good example of the city’s unique historical traditions, and are an important cultural product of Tainan.

Several well-known traditional pastry shops in Tainan participated in the event, including Leng Tih Tong, Sin Yu Jhen, Yong He Siang, Tian Sin Syuan, Bao Lai Xiang, Jiou Lai Fa, Jiou Yong Ruei Jhen, Jiu Zhen Nan, and more. Each shop provided their own iconic pastries with traditional flavors, commonly used in Tainan for religious ceremonies and funerals. On offer at the event were pastries such as hongyuan (round red bun), used to celebrate the full moon; red tortoise cake, used in the worship of gods and ancestors during the Lunar New Year, as well as the 'nine pigs and sixteen goats' pastry, used during the worship of the Sun Lord. Additionally, Klin provided their own limited-edition hollow cookies, and a DIY activity was organized by the Huang Family Rice Cake shop. The tea shop 'A Time to Combine' was also there to allow visitors to experience an Autumn Equinox tea festival. Together, these stores and their staff gave visitors a rich and satisfying experience, allowing them to better understand Tainan's cultural heritage and sample its unique traditional cuisine.

Besides the pastry feast on offer at the festival, author of The Tainan Pastry Guide Chang Yun-Shu delivered a talk entitled ‘The Pastry Culture of Tainan’, introducing the origins of Tainan’s pastry culture to visitors. In the evening, national treasure Ms. Yang Hsiu-Ching and the Taiwan Smile Folksong Group performed in a concert for visitors to enjoy, featuring the music of the yueqin (moon guitar) and traditional liam-kua (chant-song) singing, adding a beautiful musical accompaniment to the day’s events.