Tag Archives: parade

Jhubei Temple Parade, October 2012

Last Sunday, a celebration of San Tai Zi ( 三太子), a major figure in Taiwan’s popular and religious culture occurred throughout the streets of Jhubei, heading north toward Hsinfeng. I’m always excited by the chances I get to see these parades as I really get to experience the culture, practice my bad Chinese, and interact with the people.


Above: a spirit medium representing who I believe to be San Tai Zi dances in front of a moving altar with onlookers watching. This was taking place, as you might see with the truck in the background, on a busy highway bridge to Hsinfeng.

Above: a temple leader shows off his sash.

Above: a two-faced god, representing Yin and Yang (陰陽).


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Mazu’s Carrier and More from Jhubei Mazu Parade

This man was at the Jhubei Mazu Temple parade last November, which I posted lots of photos from after the event. I’ve decided to go ahead and post a few more, as I have neglected quite a few decent shots from that day.

If you ever end up following one of these groups, it’s best to make sure you have water, a mask, and earplugs. Trust me.


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Jhubei Mazu Parade, 11/12

These shots were from a Mazu procession a week ago. The local Mazu temple was celebrating a 15th anniversary (of what, I’m not sure, as the temple has been around for much longer than that) and spared no expense in its celebration. This celebration only ended last night as the entire town could hear fireworks coming from the older section of Jhubei all evening.

I followed the parade through the full route and had a great time shooting with my friend Matt as we were welcomed by the participants. They offered us binlang, beer, and cigarettes (the last of which we politely declined) and let us take part in more ways than simply photographing the event.




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Single Shot: Jhubei Mazu Festival

This show comes from last weekend, which gave me a great opportunity to take plenty of pictures. Unfortunately, I haven’t gotten around to processing them all yet.

This shot is part of what I believe is a Hakka group. It is along the lines of a group of clowns or street performers who dress up in outrageous costumes. It includes some male-female cross dressing, ridiculous outfits, and a lot of noise. I’m still searching all over for what it is, where it comes from, and why it happens. I’ve taken photos of these people at a drum festival before – they participate in a lot of cultural events in the area.

EDIT: Yes, this is a Hakka performance troupe. They are involved in drumming, dance, and some theatre. You can find more out about them here (English) or here (original link) – thanks to my wife, Yuling for finding this!

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Double Ten Temple Procession

On 10/10, a major part of the Taipei event was a temple procession involving a huge amount of “walking gods” which are very common in temple processions throughout Taiwan. This event was amazingly orderly compared to how these usually go – in other words, fireworks and firecrackers weren’t being set off without warning in the middle of the street.




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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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Drummers, Tainan

Short and simple post today. This was taken at the Tainan temple dedication I posted about a while ago.

Taken with the 70-300 at 70mm f/4.5 and a shutter speed of 1/100 at ISO 200.  I desaturated the reds in this one – something I find myself doing from time to time when shooting Chinese/Taiwanese cultural events.

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(Even More) Double Ninth Shots

Another short post – blame a mix between how cold I feel and how busy I’m getting for these being so short!  It’s in the 40’s and 50’s here in Taiwan, which means everyone (including me, the Ohio native) freaks out due to a lack of central heating in most buildings.

These were also taken during the Double Ninth Festival – which I’ve posted about time and time again.  I hope to get out to shoot more this weekend, but I have a bad feeling I’ll be too much of a wimp to venture into the cold!


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Tainan Temple Dedication

Last weekend, Yuling and I visited Tainan, a city in the south.  While it was very similar to cities like Hsinchu and Jhubei, there were a few different quirks such as a vibrant art district and some historical sites.  One thing that I wandered upon on Saturday was yet another temple parade, which was a great experience to take in – even though I’ve seen these before.

While following the parade as it visited temples around Tainan, I was offered beer, tea, binlang, and cigarettes from complete strangers.  I politely denied the cigarettes and binlang (also known as betel nut or areca nut) but was amazed and impressed by the hospitality of the people taking part.

The first thing I noticed about this crowd was that it was a mix.  Young and old, male and female.  While the parade in Jhubei was very much like this, it seemed more diverse than that group.  Another thing I noticed was the presence of robes – signifying a sense of at least a little more formality… though these things are never “too” formal (e.g. guys are drinking beer and smoking cigarettes while in the parade and banging on drums!).

You’ll notice a few more Chinese generals to start off with.  These guys were pretty impressive-looking, and I’m glad I had more light, unlike last time.


One of the more interesting aspects of this day was the presence of robed officiants.  It was much easier to figure out who was “in charge.”  They would go through the process of blessing idols by putting them through incense smoke and painting them – something I hadn’t seen before.

The couple below was quite fascinating to me – that lady looks a little annoyed at me or perhaps just a bit serious :)



The spinning thing below was fascinating.  I had never seen one before, but it works as a sort of banner with the name of a god on the front.  When the parade came to a new altar/temple, the man would dance with the tassels moving through the air.  This is another new thing to me – this man was very animated and good at what he did.

The photo below shows some gifts being given to a passing god.  Gifts would be exchanged between temples as they moved through the city streets.

See the Flickr Photoset for the rest of the shots from that day.

EDIT 2010/2/22: A few edits were made to this post after consulting my girlfriend about the “8 generals.”  I think I had them confused as vampires at one point!


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Keep that Away!

This shot was taken during the Double Ninth Parade, which I posted about a few weeks ago.  I don’t think I realized how much I liked it until recently looking back at my photos for a recent slideshow I made which included a lot of shots from my first three months here in Taiwan.

The spiked club he is holding is a type of ceremonial weapon.  I believe it’s sometimes used as a ceremonial flogging tool as well.  All I know is that it looks pretty fierce – even if his is a prop.

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