The Tshing Shan Festival — one of the three biggest temple festivals in Taipei — is to be held on Dec. 4, as the city government lines up several special events over the next four months in a bid to boost local tourism.
The annual festival — held by Qingshan Temple (青山宮) in Wanhua District (萬華) to celebrate the birthday of the temple’s patron deity, Qingshanwang (Green Mountain King, 青山王) — runs from Dec. 4 to Dec. 6, temple chairman Huang Ching-yuan (黃清源) said on Tuesday.
To mark its 165th anniversary, the temple has expanded the scale of the festival in cooperation with the Taipei City Government and the General Association of Chinese Culture, Huang said.
Photo: Cheng Ming-hsiang, Taipei Times
Besides featuring the usual nighttime procession into the district’s lanes and alleyways to ward off evil spirits — a tradition observed for more than 100 years that has become a collective memory of Wanhua’s residents — the festival is introducing a series of events that combine folk elements with a modern vibe, he added.
People are welcome to participate in a month-long art gala featuring performances by popular bands and singers, a bazaar with local treats and handicrafts and an exhibition showing the breadth of Wanhua culture, he said.
As the festival is meant to dispel diseases and bad spirits, it is especially meaningful to hold it in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, association deputy secretary-general Lee Hou-ching (李厚慶) said, adding that the festival can be held because the pandemic is being controlled in Taiwan.
“A special visual treat at the festival will be two lion heads — one big and one small — to symbolize cross-generational exchanges of religion and culture,” Lee added.
Other Wanhua festivals include the West-Taipei Life Festival — which started on Thursday and runs through Dec. 6 — and the Taipei Lantern Festival, Taipei Deputy Mayor Tsai Ping-kun (蔡炳坤) said.
The West-Taipei Life Festival highlights local temples.
The events are expected to boost the local economy, Tsai added.
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