If you live nearby Wanhua District (Bangka), you might get annoyed these days. Taoist worshipers had their annual pilgrimage parading last weekend through the streets of Taipei (especially Wanhua District.) This festival, held by the Qingshan Temple is one of the three biggest temple festivals in Taipei and ran from Friday through Sunday (Dec 4, 2020 – Dec 6, 2020). To celebrate Qingshan King’s birthday, he himself was taken by his followers on the parade to give blessings to the city. The participants blared horns on elaborate floats, set off firecrackers, and dragons and lions danced along to electronic music.
The Taipei City Police Department’s Wanhua Precinct announced that the event attracted more than 100,000 participants during that time. Due to the event was up all nights, many citizens can’t stand for the noises; there are lots of expats even thought that the non-stop fire crackers was attack by a foreign military. All those complaints led to an upcoming review meeting which be held to discuss the improvement of this traditionally long-lasting festival, Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je said.
But what is Qingshan Temple? And why there’s a huge celebration for it?
The oldest Han Chinese settlement in what is today’s Taipei City, and Wanhua District was Taipei’s first district to undergo economic development, there are many old buildings and cultural sites. The temples in Bangka are historical relics that share a relationship with the Hokkien immigrants who came to Taiwan centuries ago. Wanhua is in fact the pronunciation of Bangka in Mandarin, and Bangka is named by the Japanese with the phonetic resemblance of former name in Taiwanese Hokkien.
Bangka (Monga) Qingshan Temple is one of the “4 Temples of Bangka”, sharing its title with Longshan Temple, Taipei Tianhou Temple and Bangka Qingshui Zushi Temple. To explore iconic temple in Taipei with us – Justaiwantour, please click here!
Being built in 1854, Bangka Temple is home to the god – King Qingshan. Legend has it that a fisherman from Hui-an, China brought the god’s image to Taiwan, hoping that could help end the raging epidemic – plague. When King Qingshan was carried and passing the Old Street (today’s Xiyuan Road), weird thing happened – the image cannot be lifted anymore! It seems like the god didn’t want move any further, so the followers built a temple right on the spot. The sufferings prayed to King Qingshan then get a recovery from the plague. Therefore, the god’s grateful devotees increased, and they donated to build a new temple that is existing today.
No matter you have or haven’t been to Taiwan, it is a nice option to start your Taiwan tour with exploring Taiwanese culture! There are so many interesting religious events held in Taiwan, let’s see what are they up for.