Wanhua 萬華

Chin Shan King Sacrificial Ceremony

Chin Shan King Sacrificial Ceremony (艋舺大拜拜)

One of main festivals held annually in Wanhua is ”艋舺大拜拜”, also known as “青山王祭典”. The festival which occurs on 20th to 22nd of October (Lunar Calendar), is used to celebrate the birth of Chin Shan King (青山王), the main deity figure of the temple. During this period, the temple will invite Longshan Temple’s, Zhu Shi Miao’s (祖師廟), Ximending’s, Mazu Temple’s and other famous temples’ Bodhisattva/ Patriarch to hold a grand celebration within Wanhua. This involves touring Wanhua for the first 2 nights and on the last 2 days, holding a proper birthday celebration for the deity. This deity is widely prayed by the people in Wanhua for about 150 years. This is attributed to the locals’ belief that this deity can bring about peace and development as during the Qing Dynasty, praying this deity has resulted in the eradication of a massive plague in the area.

All Photo Source: http://blog.yam.com/kristen322/article/25749366
The purpose of touring Wamhua for the first 2 nights is assumed to be able to eliminate the evil spirits that brings locals bad luck and sufferings. As the evil spirits are believed to bring harm to the estate, children are prohibited from watching this ritual. Also, in fear that the evil spirits will enter the locals’ household, all windows and doors would have been shut by then.

Presently, there are three different tour routes. The first one commence from Huan He South Road to Zhong Hua Road while the second starts from the southern part of Wanhua Station. The last route begins from the northern portion of Ximending's Ting Han Kou Road. The parade usually last throughout the night and ends at 3-4 a.m. 

During the tour, other rituals such as “八將團” will also be carried out. 

This festival is one of the main traditional culture preserved in Wanhua not just for many years, but also practiced on a massive and impressive scale. To celebrate this event, some locals would even borrow money for a feast. A traditional biscuit known as "Xian Guang Bing"(餡光餅) is often given out to people. This can amount up to 2-3 million pieces each celebration. The Chin Shan King Sacrificial Ceremony is different from other religious practices. Apart from lighting up firecrackers, the hosts of the ceremony, known as "Ru Zhu" will be surrounded by the crowd. To be considered a "Ru Zhu", one will have to donate NTD 2 million and for "Tou Jia", NTD 1 million.

With a variety of traditional rituals, one would definitely find it amazing to witness the entire sacrificial ceremony.

Specific photo source: http://blog.yam.com/kristen322/article/25749366