Tuesday, November 28, 2017

NEW

Every year when Banqiao in New Taipei opens its Christmasland, there is another big event in Northern Taiwan that people are waiting for.  Colorful blossoms in different shapes and sizes.  It’s no less than the annual Chrysanthemum Flower Show.  For two weeks, local and international visitors visit the Chiang-Kai Shek Shilin Official Residence to have a glance at numerous ball-shaped flowers.   It’s something not to be missed during the autumn season in Taipei and I did not let the opportunity pass to include it in my “Blooming Autumn” series.










Hundreds of flowers as one.  The chrysanthemum is distinctive because of its mini-flowers called “florets” and the way it forms as one big flower of the plant.  The florets form a cluster creating one ball of chrysanthemum.  Here, in the flower festival, you will have the opportunity to distinguish them one by one by looking at a tent containing different varieties of the plant.   You can see chrysanthemums wherein the florets are incurve.  Others have florets at the edges that dangle on the outside.   While other varieties didn’t form a ball but rather look like legs of a crawling insect. 


  
Themes.   Every year, the festival follows a certain concept to make it unique every year.  This 2017, a giant piano was set up in the garden with musical notes around it as decorations.  There was also a landscaping contest for locals to join.  Fun ideas of the organizers made the place interesting and you will find them when you explore the whole area of the Chiang-Kai Shek Shilin Official Residence.












Maleficent.  Adding spice to the festival are the beautiful orchids housed inside a Chinese-looking temple. Upon stepping inside, the mask or headdress of the iconic character can be seen and beside it was a mirror.   Using the Maleficent as the central idea, the entire hall takes visitors to a different world where orchids and blue chrysanthemums combine in a bluish kind of universe.    Going inside the hall was like looking at the mirror of Maleficent and its reflection is what you see inside the pavilion.






Madagascar.  Kids and the young at heart would definitely enjoy taking photos of the penguin, zebra and the hippopotamus.   Christmas tree looking structures adorned with anemone chrysanthemums added some Christmas atmosphere in the flower festival.    Chrysanthemums with the irregular incurve as well the ones in spider form can also be seen in this area.





















Colorful inside and out.  Even outside the gate, decorative chrysanthemums welcome visitors and passersby, inviting them to get inside to wander in a wonderful floral event.     At the Exhibit of Multi-floral Daliju, visitors are surprised by large structures looking like giant umbrellas that were opened and filled with flowers on its top.   I enjoyed taking photos of each display in this outdoor exhibit.   After seeing all of them, I realized that the hundreds of florets that form one chrysanthemum can still be arranged and grouped as one giant mound of petals.  Haha!














The festival is open until December 10 (8 am to 7 pm) so those planning to visit Taipei will still have a chance to see this colorful event.  Entrance is free and the place is accessible via the MRT Shilin Station.   From the train station, walk for 300 meters to reach the gate of the Chiang-Kai Shek Shilin Official Residence.  











Visit Taiwan and enjoy the flowers of autumn.  Spread the good news about this Chrysanthemum Festival.

C. K. S. Shilin Residence Chrysanthemum Show (士林官邸菊展) [Travel in Taiwan 171128: Blooming Autumn - Chrysanthemum Festival]

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