Taiwanese literature & folk songs

May is the time that locals celebrate for the summer season. In Taichung, people who live in Nantun district have tradition to dance with clogs, and eat Jute soup. Though people in each city eat rice dumpings for May festival, only people in Taichung would eat cuisines made by Jute shoots. Nantun is the district where some of our ancestors cultivated the lands at early ages, it was as lively as Twatutia/Dadaocheng in Taipei.

Officially it is Dragon Boat Festival, but elders used to call it May festival in Taiwanese language, so I still adopt this traditional name.

tshīng ba̍k-kia̍h 穿木屐
tsam lâ-lí 躦鯪鯉

Wear clogs and stamp on the grounds to kick pangolins out of caves.

By the poet of lù hán xiù路寒袖 ( pen name).

The original content was Taiwanese poem, but later composed into lyrics and became one of popular folk songs in our society.

Photo credit: icook.tw

Jute soup

Jute soup is specially made in Taichung only, sometimes people eat soup with sweet potatoes, or other ingredients.

Photo credit: Wikipedia

Taichung  Bān-hô-kiong/Wanhe temple

This temple was built in 1726 with Mazu goddess as the main Host. Mazu is one of the common beliefs in Taiwan, almost in each city there are Mazu temples.

Photo credit: tprn.news


People believe that pangolins sleep during summer time, if we wear clogs and dance heavily to kick them out of caves, it will be easier for us to cultivate the lands.

Download the song here if you would like to listen.


bih teh塗跤底tuh-ku使性地


” This is the place in Taichung where we cultivated the lands to start our families
On the blacksmith street with flaming fire
While rice plants are blooming with the breeze
The temple of Bān-hô with Mazu goddess has more than three hundred years
But the tear of Mazu was never dropped
Please protect us to have adequate rains each year

This is the rare topography that looks like pangolin
The pangolin is lazy during hot summer days in May
It’s hiding under the ground for snoozing and getting angry
Farmers want to cultivate the lands without helpers
So, everybody wear clogs and stamp heavily on the grounds
To wake up pangolins so as to spread seeds

Wear clogs and stamp on the grounds to kick pangolins out of caves
Every sound of clogs wakes us up to work hard
We eat rice dumplings with Jute soup
The bitter and sweet flavor make us full
Wear clogs and stamp on the grounds to kick pangolins out of caves; try your best to stamp
Eat rice dumplings with Jute soup, life is full of pain and happiness”