The origin of Keelung Midsummer Ghost Festival went a while back when there were feuds and wars among Chinese immigrants from the various towns in the Fujian province. Many were killed in one large battle. Then the people realize they must find a way to dissolve the conflicts among the immigrants. Because there’s a few dominant Chinese last names so they figured it would be best for the immigrants to realize that immigrants from another town in China is really not much different from them since their ancesteral heritage was probably linked. & Because most of these Chinese immigrants have the custom of …
commenmorating the dead and providing offering to the ghosts during the “Ghost Month” to hope for peace and prosperity, so then they decided to let the each Family Name Group work together to host the rituals and events for the Mid-Summer Ghost Festival every year.
Small dancers waiting for rehearsal.
Rehearsal & Sound Check. Red Lantern dancers.
Hostess for foreign guests (political) and their *SHINY* appearance.
Some performances look better on the Live Screen just because we were unable to see it (the “stage” for performance is the platform for the government officials and important guests. (incl foreigh).
The next-up performers fixated on the Live Screen.
Fireworks and festivity.
Guo – The Family Name group that hosted this year’s mid-summer festival.
What we call the 電子花車 (Electronic Decorated Cars in literal translation). These are “converted” cars with LOTS of lights all around the car. The idea is similar to the ones in the Disney parade but this has a more tradiatio twist.
Sometimes we had a hard time figuring out whether the people on the car are real.
Lots of lights and lanterns.
The main purpose of the parade is for every Family Name group that has a “Family Name Association” (宗親會) in Keelung to carry their Water Lantern (水燈頭) to the harbour where it will be burnt and released into the ocean as an offering to the lost souls and wanering gosts of the sea in return for wish for prosperity, health and safety to the Family.
There were all kinds of “parade” performances passing in front us as if they were on a conveyor belt.
One of the “Lin” family cars. Because the family name of the Sea-Goddess that many worshipped in Taiwan and some sea port towns in the Fujian Provence area of China is “Lin” so the “Lin” Family Association got a cute “Sea Goddess” lantern on it.
There were even belly-dancers. This car belongs to the “Lan” Family Assocation.
A Marching Band consisting of all females is quite popular in schools in Taiwan.
Sometimes it’s not all about driving. Sometimes you have to put the cars yourself.
My family name!
There were even Korean folk dancers with the twirling hat.
Cute puppet and costumes!
Sometimes you see a lot of the performances or parade cars or music played don’t have that much to do with the Ghost Festival itself.
I thought it was funny to see this little kid sitting on the tool that he uses to walk with the parade.
A car heading toward the centre stage.
More like temple figures.
Group picture befoe we headed off to the Sea-Viewing Harbour to see the Water Lantern ceremony and ritual (放水燈) starting at 11pm.
More photos on: MY FLICKR – http://www.flickr.com/photos/perladipace/sets/72157606987599384/
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