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一窺蘭嶼的飛魚文化 Orchid Island’s Flying Fish Festival

Orchid Island’s Flying Fish Festival
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一窺蘭嶼的飛魚文化
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Taiwan has no shortage of festivals for locals and tourists to take part in, from the Lantern Festival to the Dragon Boat Festival. One lesser-known example is the Flying Fish Festival, which takes place on Orchid Island, also known as Lanyu. This tiny island lies off the southeastern coast of Taiwan and is usually accessed via Taitung. It is populated primarily by the aboriginal Tao people, whose main source of food is the flying fish. Despite their name, flying fish don’t actually fly like birds. Instead, they jump across the surface of the ocean using their large fins.

  Between March and June, water currents transport large numbers of fish to Orchid Island. During these spring months, local fishermen use colorful, hand-carved wooden canoes to catch the fish. These boats are blessed before they are sent out, and there are also ceremonies where locals pray for successful catches. However, the dates for these specific activities differ from village to village and year to year, making it difficult for visitors to attend the events. If you do visit Orchid Island for the festival, though, it is important to note that you should not touch the sacred canoes because the Tao people believe it may bring bad luck to fishermen.

  The most essential aspect of the festival is, of course, the fish, and these can be seen hanging up to dry across the island. Fresh flying fish is a typical food on dining room tables and in restaurants during the spring and summer, while the dried variety is favored in winter. Come to Orchid Island to try some for yourself.

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Nick Kembel
Nick Kembel
Don’t let the noise of other people’s opinions drown your inner voice.
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