Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Religious parade

The celebrations a while back marking the renovation and reopening of Guangxing Temple (廣興廟) were the largest I've ever seen. This major shrine, which is dedicated to Shennong, is located in Tainan's Yongkang District (永康區).

We were invited along because it's the "mother temple" of the Shennong shrine in my wife's home village, about 15km further inland. A team from the village carried their temple's icon and banner (on the left) through the neighborhood before finally arriving at the temple.

Considering they'd been up all night - marching from one supporter's house to another's, collecting donations at each stop - the team from my wife's village (below in orange shirts and yellow baseball caps) looked remarkably fresh.

The various teams from the "daughter temples" had to wait their turn before moving in front of the "mother temple," where they performed in honor of the deity. Some had to wait well over an hour, but for photographers this was an excellent opportunity to get portraits of the pilgrims and members of the many different zhentou troupes, which included musicians, dancers, stilt-walkers and Ba Jia Jiang.

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