Sunday, May 22, 2011

2009-10-10 Wang Ye Boat Burning Ceremony (東港王船祭) Part II

Donglong Temple’s Wang-Ye Boat Burning Ceremony in 2009 was an eight-day event. It included different rituals. We attended the last two days of event and the rituals. I did some research before our trip and found we missed an interesting ritual called Wu-Du-Da-Shen(五毒大神), literally means Gods of the Five Venoms, that performed in the first or second day. According to some articles, the origin of the Gods of the Five Venoms was long time ago, five children in a village saw the God of Plague poisoning the well water that villagers drank, they told adults what they saw, but no one believed them. They threw themselves into the poisoned well to protect villagers, so they became the Gods of the Five Venoms. The story is about how children saved people from plague, so the ritual is performed by children in the ceremony.

Here is a video I found.

Those children are about 8 to 10 years old and they have to practice after school for few months before the ceremony.

We arrived at Donglong Temple in the morning and the square was full of people. The street before the temple was narrow and everywhere was crowded, I tried hard to take a picture of Donglong Temple’s golden gate without taking in many visitors. I was fascinated by its beauty. It is covered of gold leaf and its carvings are very beautiful. At the time I was taking picture, I was amazed. I learned the Wang-Ye Boat was huge (I checked afterwards, and the data I got showed its length was about 6 meters and its width 3 meters) and placed in the Boat House, boat carriers would move through the gate and turn it in 90 degrees on the narrow street. I couldn’t image how they could do it and didn’t know I would take a perfect spot in the midnight to witness the grand moment.

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