In honor of Taiwan Heritage Days (全國古蹟日), which are being celebrated on Sept. 21 and 22 this year, city and county governments across the nation will unveil a series of public activities this weekend to raise awareness of the importance of Taiwan's monuments and heritage sites.
Minister of Culture Cheng Li-chiun explained that Taiwan's initiative started on the third weekend of September in 2001, and takes inspiration from the European Heritage Days established in 1999 to widen access and foster care for architectural and environmental heritage. This year, the European program has adopted the theme of "arts and entertainment," spawning the curatorial concept of "heritage tourism" for Taiwan Heritage Days 2019.
Moreover, the weekend events will tie into the "Reconstruction of Historical Scenes (再造歷史現場計畫)" initiative funded by the Executive Yuan's Forward-looking Infrastructure Development Plan and devised by the Ministry of Culture as a strategy for reviving and preserving the cultural ecology surrounding historic sites.
The initiative seeks to combine the management of tangible cultural assets with the preservation of intangible cultural heritage to drive urban and rural development; integrate local culture, history, and technology; and reignite people's connections to their land via historic memories. Currently 30 projects proposed by 20 different county and city governments have joined the cause.
Minister Cheng noted that the Reconstruction project has three key points. First, to deepen localization from a historical and cultural context; second, to reconstruct regions and communities by integrating urban management; and third, to recreate historical scenes connecting modern life with memories of earlier times.
The launch ceremony of Taiwan Heritage Days 2019 was held in Pingtung County on Sept. 18, during which the nationwide itinerary was revealed to encompass such participatory activities as traditional wedding rites that will be held at monuments in Kinmen County, a rock music festival at the former Black Cat Squadron air base in Taoyuan City, open door day at former prison complexes in Chiayi City, creative bazaars at historic military dependents' villages in Yunlin County, and much more.
A comprehensive (but not conclusive) list of Taiwan Heritage Days 2019 events is available at the Bureau of Cultural Heritage's website www.boch.gov.tw. The bilingual pamphlet is also available for download at the bottom of this page.