Themed “A journey to childhood through art and chrysanthemums,” the 2020 Taipei Shilin Residence Chrysanthemum Show exhibited more than 200,000 beautiful flowers from Nov. 27 to Dec. 20.
Please watch the following video of the 2020 Taipei Shilin Residence Chrysanthemum Show.
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The chrysanthemum show at Shilin Residence is the largest of its kind in Taiwan. It was originally held in observance of late president Chiang Kai-shek’s birthday on October 31 from the 1950s to 1975 because the chrysanthemum is traditionally a symbol of longevity and rejuvenation for the Chinese people.
The chrysanthemum show was restored in 2002, aiming to promote horticulture and boost tourism in the capital city. The chrysanthemum festival has been held annually around November till December since then, and is the largest chrysanthemum show in Taiwan at present.
Features of the chrysanthemum show
There are 13 indoor and outdoor exhibition areas in the chrysanthemum show, including “Young at Heart,” “The Realm of Moon,” “House of Chrysanthemums with Multiple Blossoms,” “Large Chrysanthemum Variety Display Area,” “Pom Pom Purin’s Chrysanthemum Magic Carpet,” “Fantasy Castle,” “My Secret Basement,” “Busy Cowboy,” “My Toy Box,” “Hidden Chrysanthemum in Magical Bubbles”, Candy House,” “Children’s Painting,” and “Youth Creative Flowerbed Exhibit.”
Featuring a journey to explore memories of “childhood fun,” there are many toy-like floral installations scattered in these exhibition areas, such as spinning tops, wooden horses, water guns, and other installations composed of plants and flowers in the shapes of fairies, castles, toy blocks, and things like that. Among them was the 2.5-meter (8 feet) Pom Pom Purin sculpture, which was a canine mascot of Japanese origin.
One of the most intriguing highlights of the chrysanthemum festival this year is the display of the king of chrysanthemums, the Da-Li chrysanthemum. The champion dubbed “White Crane” boasts 1,407 blossoms on a single plant.
What’s more amazing is that another large Da-Li chrysanthemum dubbed “Tai Chi” has two distinct colors of flowers in the same plant. All these amazing chrysanthemums are in fact cultivated by the Parks and Street Lights Office of Taipei City Government’s Public Works Department. And it takes about two years for the park authorities’ staffers to cultivate these superb chrysanthemums.
The opening ceremony was conducted by Taipei City Mayor Ko Wen-je on Nov. 17. To mark the 19th anniversary of the Shilin Chrysanthemum Show and promote the stunning beauty of Taiwan chrysanthemums, over 50 distinguished guests from 30 diplomatic missions in Taiwan were invited to attend the opening ceremony.
Some ambassadors or representatives said that it was their first time to see such a magnificent display of flowers. Others expressed that they were really amazed by the huge installations made of plants and flowers. Still others mentioned that they should invite some horticulturists from Taiwan to teach farmers in their home countries how to grow such unique and beautiful chrysanthemums.
About Shilin Residence
The Shilin Official Residence was the last residence of the late President Chiang Kai-Shek and his wife Madame Chiang from 1950 through 1975. The residence was not opened to the public until 1996.
With an area of about 9.3 hectares (23 acres), the Chiang Kai-Shek Shilin Residence is composed of the main mansion and botanical gardens. With its rich horticulture, the Shilin Official Residence holds various flower shows each year, such as the one for chrysanthemums as well as ones for plum blossoms, orchids, roses, etc.
Taipei Shilin Residence Chrysanthemum Show is something not to be missed during the autumn season for locals and international visitors, but due to the prevalence of COVID-19, there were only about 450,000 people visiting the magnificent flower festival this year though the exhibition was prolonged for one more week.