A Different Lantern Festival in Yehliu

posted in: Culture 6

Nearly 200 years ago, the Queen’s Head looked at the deity Sacred King – founder of Zhangzhou – floating in the sea.

When visitors think about coming to northern Taiwan, many people put Yehliu on the list for its special geological landscape formed over millions of years. In fact, Yehliu has an interesting history and mythos. In 1820, there was an unmanned boat more advanced than any modern-day self-driving vehicles. This boat carried a statue of a deity and building materials. Seeing these materials floating in the harbor, Yehliu residents took this as a sign and used the materials to build the Bao An Temple.

During the annual Lantern Festival, to bless Yehliu fishermen for a safety and a big catch, men carrying a palanquin jump into the port. This is one of Taiwan’s most unique festivals. Around noon, warriors can be seen carrying a palanquin and firewalking. Then, a big group starts a parade-like procession. The traditional celebrations continue at the Bao An Temple; residents offer big piles of rice packs to the giant tortoise statues to ask for blessings in the new year.

 

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