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2010-06-16 Dragon Boat Festival, Lukang, Taiwan--Part 1   印象分數:85印象分數:85印象分數:85印象分數:85印象分數:85

If there is a magic weather forecast, I will recommend the lunar year. Why?

After series of rainy day, the sun magically showed up in this day. Plus, “it is occasional”, elderly told me.

Dragon Boat Festival can trace back to several stories. The most reliable one is for memorizing patriotism poetry called Chu Yuan/Qu Yuan (屈原). He was so loyal that he felt deeply frustrated when his lord or empire ignored his suggestion and kept damaging his beloved country with undefeatable power. And sorrowfully and ashamedly he tied himself with a giant stone and jumped into the Miluo(汨羅) river. All nations shook and cried for him. They urgently searched on the river but in vain. So all people could do was toss rice mixed with meat into waves, praying fishes and shrimps would gave up the body of for more delicious rice.

Gradually, it evolved into “Dragon Boat Race” and customs of eating “tzung tzu/ Zong Zi” (粽子 in Chinese) in nowadays. In Taiwan, LuKang Township office held this festivals maybe meaning anther evolution but the spirits are remain, I believe.

Here is a brief introduce for Lukang. It features quaint village in central Taiwan with series of historic sites like Mastu Temple, skillful traditional crafts like hand-made fans, and preserved Old Street experiencing hustle and bustle in the past. All means not only joining festival but also a historic trip in Lukang. What a wonderful itinerary to win both at the same time.

Here is my arrangement:

Dragon Boat Raceàstand our lucky eggs at noonàmake our own fragrant sachetsàMastu TempleàOld StreetàHome

 

Traffic Tools: Our car, Festiva! There are shuttle buses going around venues. But we thought driving car is the most efficient way.

It was a space park along river where dragon boat race took place. Each time two boats competed with each other and ranked all competitors according to rowing time. All crews sat in two lines in their dragon boat, long to 40 to 100 feet with colorful mouth-opened vivid dragon’s head at front, scaly body painted on both side and firing tail in curve at the end. As the bee---sound rose and two crews rowed as hardly as they could with rhythm of drums—bum, bum, bum, bum…. …. Approaching the destination line, the second boat suddenly speeded up and caught up the first one. Who would win? Depending on who dragged the flag at the destination firstly. The second flag-catcher did!

We walked along bank, enjoyed games held by several departments of government such as police for educating fighting drugs, lots of traditional snack food stalls, and continuous dragon boats races.

Dragon Boat Raceàmake our lucky eggs stood at noonàmake our own fragrant sachetsàMastu TempleàOld StreetàHome

  

As the sun rose to the center of the sky, it was time to set our lucky eggs stood up. Rush to the venue, we found crowds with bricks and eggs on hands but not including ours. Luckily, some donated theirs to us—they succeeded in making eggs stood on the bricks so kindly thought it was our turn. Thank them very much!

It required some tips to make egg balance in the brick. One should find focus of the egg and smooth the flat part by gentle rubs. Then put it on brick with cares like playing building blocks. It was easy for everyone, I thought, since when the host cited “who make it?”, almost everyone raised their hands as quickly as they could.

 

Beside the venue, several temples in white walls and blue roofs caught my eyes. Those are devoted to deities of knowledge, full of parents and children praying for good performance in exams. They lighted sticks of incense, took a paper, red it faithfully, then stroke divination blocks for a promise from deities and thanked with paper money. Reading the faces of young prayers is … … interesting. Some were so sincere that they won promises easily while some were forced by parents with reluctance and impatience. Praying sounds, breaking sounds from series of divination blocks, burning incense mixed in front of silent status of deities in simple temples.

 



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