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An Introduction to the Chinese Character Festival
Of the three ancient writing systems of the world (the other two are Sumerian archaic cuneiform script and Egyptian hieroglyphs), traditional Chinese characters are the only semanto-phonetic script that is still used today. Thus traditional Chinese characters are a valuable asset and cultural heritage that must be well preserved. The Chinese Character Festival was first launched in order to raise public awareness of traditional Chinese characters and stir up general interest in the ancient writing system. Writing systems are keys to understanding one’s origin, and they function as a kind of culture carrier as well. Thus the history of traditional Chinese characters and their cultural meaning should be nurtured instead of ignored by the world. The beauty of the system and its phonetic elements are important cultural heritages and demand our attention now.
The Chinese Character Festival organized by Taipei City's Department of Cultural Affairs is held annually at the beginning of each year. Some of the programs in this yearly event include “Chinese Characters and Life Exhibition,” “Chinese Character Quiz,” “Worship of Cangjie, the Inventor of Chinese Characters,” a mass art event to practice calligraphy on New Year’s Day, an exhibition of Chinese character-related contemporary art, and a fashion design show. These events are all staged to allow local people to better understand the uniqueness and beauty of traditional Chinese characters. With the combination of these interesting events and the unique landscape of Taipei City, the citizens of Taipei can better appreciate the beauty of the ancient language.
The Taipei City Department of Cultural Affairs