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President Chen Attends a Folk Lantern Festival Feast in Yunlin

Yunlin, central Taiwan, Feb. 7 (CNA) Republic of China President Chen Shui-bian attended a folk Lantern Festival feast in Yunlin on Wednesday.

Chen noted that local temples in Taiwan play the role of cultural centers by transmitting customs between different generations and connecting communities.

The president joined in a buffet set up in the natural surroundings of a field and enjoyed a feast along with about 100,000 local residents.

Chen was also scheduled to visit several temples. The folk "Chinese buffet," set up to celebrate the Lantern Festival, has been held annually in Yunlin for a hundred years. This, however, was the first year that the head of state attended the traditional feast.

The annual holding of the feast has its roots in religious belief. About a century ago, when Taiwan still lacked adequate medical care and information, a serious plague broke out in Yulin.

Local citizens prayed to a Chinese god and the plague soon came to an end. In order to show their gratitude for the god's help, local citizens held a grand feast that became an annual tradition.

Code Ver.:F201708221923 & F201708221923.cs
Code Ver.:201710241546 & 201710241546.cs