Tag Archives: changhua

Single Shot: Tourism Tricycle in Lu Kang

This was taken quite a while ago during a trip to “Lukang,”, or 鹿港, an old town further south in Taiwan that was once an important harbor. Apparently, this cart is from the nearby Presbyterian Church, and I forgot about this picture as I was getting other shots posted and moving along.

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Single Shot: Two Buddhas

These two Buddha statues are in Changhua at the Big Buddha of Baguashan. The statue to the left is this Buddha, which sits on top of a lotus leaf and is large enough to enter. The entire complex is seated on top of a mountain overlooking the city.

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Single Shot: Big Buddha of Baguashan (八卦山)

This Big Buddha is located at Baguashan, or 八卦山 in Changhua City (彰化巿). I’ll be posting more shots from the visit to the statue and temple that is situated behind it as well as the statue garden nearby. It’s a beautiful area which allows you to see the whole city. You can check out a past post dealing with the Big Buddha of Ngong Ping in Hong Kong here.

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Some More Random Images

Still digging through the archives. I hope this weekend’s weather is decent, so I can take more photos – unlike last Sunday.

Regardless, here are some random shots from the past year that I haven’t posted yet. Happy Thursday to all!

Cosplayers in Hsinchu, December 2010.

Jhubei Dragon Dance, December-ish, 2010.

   

Left: Anthell, Spring Scream 2011; Right: Anti-nuclear banners at a protest in Taipei.

Guardian Lions, Changhua.

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More From Around Songboling

Here are some more shots from my recent trip to Songboling, a beautiful temple complex on the top of a mountain in the Changhua-Nantou region of central Taiwan. The temple included a large market, though we were kind of irritated that there was no restaurant. The good news was that there was plenty of food – and I didn’t end up hungry.

The area  is known for tea farming, so these large bins of tea for sale in large quantities were not a surprise:

Shoutian Temple, Songboling, 23

This temple ceiling was intricate – I wish I would have spent more time trying to capture it. Keep in mind that this wasn’t even the ceiling in the main part of the temple – there is no detail spared in creating these structures.

Shoutian Temple, Songboling, 40

Shoutian Temple, Songboling, 35

   

Left: A vendor’s pineapples for sale. Right: Man in a lion suit.

Shoutian Temple, Songboling, 27

Above you see the front of the truck that held the musicians I showed yesterday. The loudspeakers make sure everyone in town knows the parade is coming through – though they’re probably not needed with the amount of fireworks accompanying the procession.

Shoutian Temple, Songboling, 18

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Soutian Temple, Songboling

This post includes more shots from Songboling, this time at Shoutian Temple (受天宮).

These temple parades are becoming quite common on my blog, but I love them for their energy, unpredictable nature, and for the amount of culture that is wrapped up in just a few short hours. As usual, this one included old and young, male and female. I’m not sure if it was a special occasion, but it seemed as if everybody had huge amounts of energy and dedication.

Shoutian Temple, Songboling, 34

A man takes off a costume after a dance in front of the temple. The costume involved two parts – front and rear – that both danced in sync.

This truck was full of musicians – this man is banging on a gong while another hits on drums and a third plays the suona.

This branch symbolizes the beginning of most parades and acts as a way to symbolize the coming of the gods.

The beginning of the temple parade before it ended up heading out into the market. Notice the walking gods in the back – I didn’t get a chance to get them up close.

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The Monkeys of Songboling

These semi-wild monkeys live near Songboling, a popular hiking trail and home of a large temple complex near Changhua and Nantou. I call them “semi-wild” because these monkeys, Formosan Rock Macaques, were released purposefully to the area and live on their own. The species is endemic to Taiwan and the government is trying to increase their population in the area.

Unfortunately, people do feed them, and they will bug you for food on the trail. However, it was nice to get some monkeys outside of a zoo for a change as I broke out the 70-300mm and SB-600 for some more wild shots than before.

Songboling Macaques, 4

Notice the sign above. These bilingual notices let people know about the potential risk of infection from viruses. Most tourists did keep away from them – some people just HAD to try to touch them. Ugh.

   

I was very happy with the detail in this shot – a little different from the rest.

I really enjoyed the challenge of getting the monkeys that were deeper into the woods. I unfortunately didn’t get any in the air, but wouldn’t mind spending more time trying to get one of those shots.

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Digging through the Archives

Since last weekend was full of nasty weather, I don’t have much in terms of recent work, so here are some images that, for whatever reason, haven’t been posted yet. Happy Wednesday, everyone!

Mazu Festival: Hello/Ni Hao!

Mazu Festival, Changhua.

        

Left: Longshan Temple, Taipei. Right: Hakka Tea House, Beipu.

Temple Procession, Jhubei.

Hsinchu Train Station, Hsinchu City.

Mazu Festival, Changhua.

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Festival at Dajia Mazu Temple, Taichung

Part of the Mazu Pilgrimage, which I recently posted about, was an ongoing celebration at a Mazu temple in Taichung. This celebration was going on at the same time the pilgrimage made its way to Changhua just south of the city.

Mazu Festival: Dajia Mazu Temple, Taichung San Tai Zi 2

These gods represent Ne Zha San Tai Zi, or 莲花三太子. He is known as a trickster god, usually represented as a boy, and is seen as playful and mischievous.  You’ll see him even on Taiwanese television, as he has sort of melded into a pop culture symbol.

Mazu Festival: Dajia Mazu Temple, Taichung

These mobile altars were common through the day, as certain gods “visited” Mazu. The man on the left was dressed in traditional clothing and I’m regretting every time that I missed taking his portrait.

Mazu Festival: Dajia Mazu Temple, Taichung

Mazu Festival: Dajia Mazu Temple, Taichung San Tai Zi 3

This man is pulling a San Tai Zi costume off the line, presumably to give the dancer a break. Later, I had a chance to get an image of the three costumes lined up as the dancers rested at the temple.

Mazu Festival: Dajia Mazu Temple, Taichung Gods Lined Up

Mazu Festival: Dajia Mazu Temple, Taichung Offerings

Offerings are given to the temple gods. Notice the pile of burning “ghost money” on the ground at their feet.

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Goddess of the Sea

Before I begin, I should mention and thank GigGuide.tw, a primarily English music site in Taiwan which chronicles music on the island. They featured some of my photos in a Spring Scream guide – check them out here.

Instead of covering more bands, as I planned, I’ll switch back to Taoism after some incredible events last weekend.

One of the largest pilgrimages in the world is underway. While many people think of the Muslim Hajj in Mecca or the various festivals in India which draw millions when it comes to these events, a festival currently underway in Taiwan is drawing huge crowds for Mazu, goddess of the sea.

Mazu is worshiped across East and Southeast Asia – especially by seagoing people as in Taiwan. Her blessing is seen as so powerful that people all over Taiwan and some outside of Taiwan will be sure to visit her as she makes her way through various cities.

Last weekend, I went with Yuling to witness such an event in Changhua, a city just south of Taichung.

This festival is indeed a pilgrimage – and a large one at that. It snakes around Taiwan, through various cities which are all excited at the presence of one of the most important gods in Taiwan. The parade processions include costumes, banners, fireworks, horns, and as said earlier, massive crowds. A perfect day for a camera. With the crowds and smoke, my 35mm f/1.8 never left the camera body.

Participants, like these seen above, wear simple clothing and are fed by people while making the trek throughout the island. I was offered food and drink multiple times by complete strangers, testament to the attitude of giving throughout the day. Many temples set out vegetarian food which was free in exchange for a small temple donation.

These scooters were caught up in the endless traffic. We actually left Changhua before it got even worse, with thousands filling the streets at night.

The people kneeling above are prostrating themselves so Mazu’s altar will pass over them. It is said to bring blessings if she visits you – even more if she passes directly overhead.

This man looked over his shoulder at me as the sparklers coming from the sky rained down – the parade had to stop multiple times for fireworks, sparklers, and other things which purposely try to keep the goddess in the town as long as possible so she will bless the residents.

These men were carrying banners and large spears ahead of Mazu as a sort of honor guard. It was great to spend time with the parade in the evening as we got some beautiful light from the setting sun.

   

Left: The crowds in the above photo are waiting for Mazu to arrive as fireworks are laid out before her altar moves through. Right: …and some fireworks to finish off this post. I’ll be back later with another post about this huge event, I’m sure.

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