Taichung celebrates Hakka festival of Ciao Sheng Sian Shih

The Taichung City Government held the Ciao Sheng Sian Shih Cultural Festival to celebrate the 2525th birthday of Ciao Sheng Sian Shih (巧聖仙師), a deity worshiped by craftsmen, at the Taichung-based Ciao Sheng Sian Shih Temple on June 3.

Returning for 
its third edition this year, the Ciao Sheng Sian Shih Cultural Festival had been selected by the Hakka Affairs Council last year as one of the 2018 Hakka Festivals.

Ciao Sheng Sian Shih, whose original name was Lu Ban (魯班), was a skilled senior carpenter who helped solve problems around villages and towns in ancient times. He had invented and created numerous vessels and tools to help improve people’s everyday life as well as weapons for the king.

In honor of his contribution, Lu Ban was given the title Ciao Sheng Sian Shih after his death. He is also viewed as the father of craftsmanship by technical workers, constructors, and architects. 

At the celebration ceremony, Mayor Lin Chia-lung (林佳龍) of Taichung City served as the chief ritualist to present offerings including jue, sandalwood, jade vessels, flowers, and silks to pay homage to Ciao Sheng Sian Shih.

Mayor Lin noted that Hakka craftsmen and skilled workers have worshiped Ciao Sheng Sian Shih since early settlement in Taiwan. In addition to presenting the Hakka history of development, the festival also highlights the spirit of craftsmanship.

At present, the central government is pushing for building technical skills and industry-academic cooperation while the Taichung City Government is also advocating innovative Hakka education, which all embody Ciao Sheng Sian Shih’s spirit of craftsmanship, added Mayor Lin.

The Taipei City Government’s Department of Civil Affairs also noted that the Ciao Sheng Sian Shih Temple in Dongshi District of Taichung is also called the “Craftsman Hall (匠館).” The temple is the earliest temple that worships Lu Ban in Taiwan.

Launched by the Taichung City Government in 2016, the Ciao Sheng Sian Shih Festival had also been selected by the Hakka Affairs Council as one of the 2017 Hakka Festivals.