Sunday, April 17, 2011

Baosheng Cultural Festival 2011: First Pics

So today was Baosheng Dadi's birthday (Baosheng Dadi is the god of medicine). Anyone who's lived in Taiwan for any length of time knows that god birthdays are generally celebrated with a lot of firecrackers and a parade in which that god - and some other ones who are along to pay respects - goes around town in a palanquin to the accompaniment of great cacaphony. Generally he's followed by dragon dancers, lion dancers, tall gods and sundry other awesome stuff that makes for great photo fodder.

Baosheng Dadi's temple, Bao'an Gong, is a UNESCO world heritage site in Dalongdong, and his birthday parade is one of the biggest - if not the biggest - in northern Taiwan. It was today (but there's firewalking tomorrow afternoon, and Shennong Dadi's birthday is coming up as well so you can still get in on the fun if you want).

Here are a few photos from our day of watching the festival go by (more to come later):

The Messenger - this comical guy walks in front of Baosheng Dadi's palanquin, giving out Ritz crackers and letting people know he's coming.

This is some sort of costume group - 11 of them look fairly similar, then there's a grandma (above) and one that looks like a young girl. I think the ones who look alike are meant to be sisters.

A martial artist in a troupe prepares for a match.

One of the "sisters".

A bajiajiang (array of eight generals) mid-performance

Dragon dancing was big this year.

I like how he looks like he's comin' to get me.

I try to show up early for these parades if I know they're happening so I can get good close-ups of the tall gods and other folks.

Like these women, who are in some sort of Yunlin-based dance-and-cymbal troupe.

The martial arts troupe was really spectacular. They were so fast that I didn't get a lot of non-blurry pictures.

Another close-up god.

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