A Traditional Grateful Ceremony Filled with Folk Features – The End of Pilgrim Procession (Folkways)
By TTNews Reporter Liao, You-Sheng
TAITUNG, TAIWAN (TTNews) – The Lantern Festival has always been recognized as the most vigorous and actively involved occasion in Taitung for the duration of the Chinese New Year holidays. Some people even consider it to be more prominent than Chinese New Year; hence, the Lantern Festival is also known as “the 2nd Chinese New Year”.
During the procession, the streets are filled with joyful and festive atmosphere. People are filled with excitement and expectation, watching a long row of parade floats, dragon troupes, lion troupes, etc. walking in the streets. Everywhere the parade goes, the firecrackers will set off and the excitements will follow. The entire city will be celebrating the Lantern Festival.
The blessing procession pilgrim brings together all kinds of folk performing groups and martial art troupes to gather here, such as General Commanders (Guan Jiang Shou), Eight Generals (Ba Chia Jiang), Big & Small Sedan Chairs, Lion’s Troupe, etc. Practically all kinds of martial art footwork will be presented in the procession. As this folk festivity has rocked people’s impression for traditional folkways, it has deepened people’s recognition for folk culture.
During the procession, when each folk performing group and martial troupe pass by a temple, the teams will enter into the temple to pay tribute to the divinities; hence, this kind of tribute is also known as “worship”. The significance of worship is to inform people that the procession is coming to an end; consequently, all the participant teams will flaunt their best performances, so that visitors will be able to watch a marvelous array of shows. Festival-goers will then begin to drift off as the event draws to an end.