Published: April 23rd 2007April 23rd 2007 I have to say that I have never been to New Orleans for Mardi Gras but I am taking a wild guess that the small town of Dajia, Taiwan on the Saturday night of Mazu's departure might have resembled close to that! Mazu is known in Taiwan as the popular goddess and guardian of the sea (to be exact the fishermen and sailors that surround Taichung). Mazu rests in a temple called Chenlan Temple in Dajia, and then once a year, she proceeds to make her way south down into the surrounding Taichung countys for 8 days, stopping by over 70 Temples, where people will pray to Mazu for goodluck.
Can you find Mazu?!
Since Rachel lives in Dajia, she had been hearing about this event since the day she stepped foot into her town--and not a lot of things happen in that small town of hers, and when she was told this was going to be BIG, we had not believed what BIG actually stood for until now! (This Mazu festival was also one of the top 10 things to do while in Taiwan--soo duh i had to experience) Anyways...I headed up Friday night after A LONGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGG
stressful week at work to enjoy some time with the possey. Muoy Rach and I then headed down to the concert area where it looked like the MTV music awards, commentators and everything, it was actually pretty cool, tho i sorta feel bad since i made rach and muoy miss Wang Lee Hom (the most popular/handsome singer in taiwan) since they had to get me at the train station..oo well the performers were only singing one song so i am sure it prolly wasnt his best
Saturday we met Mike and Jaquetta at the train staiton where we proceeded to partake in a delicious 'american-chinese' lunch...Kung Pao Chicken and IT WAS DELICOUS!!! Then we met Karen who came to join in on the festivites...here we than walked around town, visiting the Temple, where it was outta CONTROL. We witnessed what we thing was each of the different towns who brought in their Mazu to pay homage to the Dajia Mazu--they were also followed by local marching bands, where i have no idea why, but these girls were walking in HEELS and i mean not like stelletos but some large enormous pee wee herman heels. TAKE A LOOK ------> We
then ventured over to the ever so popular bakery where i tasted some delicious pastrys and bought a few---its the most delicious sweet i have ever tried--so flaky so sweet! At night it ended up being Rach Muoy and I so we headed down towards the outskirts of town to the street performance. LOVED IT!! Here we saw everything from, little kids and high schoolers doing street/hip-hop dancing--AMAZING, magicians, Lion and Tiger Dance, phillipeano and latin bands and the ever so enjoyable parade....and guess what??!!? it even managed to have the stripper girls...what event in taiwan would go without them!!!! For the parade we went to one of rachels english teachers house where we had an awesome view on the 4th floor and i must admit we were quite a popular lookup for those below who were flashing their cameras to get a picture of us left and right...9 months and it still doesnt stop haha. but anyways, it was nice to have a local explain to us some of the meanings of the traditions during this festival. He explained to us how some people follow the Mazu from anywhere to a day or the whole 8 days, and how
they travel by bike, foot, or scooter. Each town they pass the community offers them food and shelter and bath. We were also informed that the millions of firecrackers we were witnessing actually cost them millions of NT----i had never been so close to fireworks before in my life, and they were soooooooo much better than any i have ever witnessed, i just cant believe that people spend so much money on them. When we saw some people stop at a business owners place and give them an envelope the business man would set off the firewords in show of appreciation. After a long enjoyable evening and day we headed home and I was off that next afternoon---back to the dirty south where my world is crazy and my kids have somewhat even managed to go crazier!!! I have also decided that the end of this week it might be time to start sorting out this life I have made in Taiwan and get to packin' it up!!! AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH !!!! 57 days!!!
There are more photos below