Showing posts from April, 2012

Tomb Sweeping Day April 4, 2012

I had a Wednesday off earlier on this month because of Tomb Sweeping Day. It’s a national holiday in Taiwan where you pay respects to your ancestors…and it’s a good excuse for a family reunion. ;) I was really lucky to get a chance to see what people traditionally do on this day by going with Albert and his family to their family tomb. Another cool thing about it was that it was Hakka style (that’s his ethnicity).

We rented a car to drive to a place in the middle of nowhere in Hsinchu county. It was on a mountaintop. There were many tombs near each other and you could hear lots of people doing ceremonies and things there. A family tomb basically looks like a small building built into a hill. Urns of cremated ancestors are inside. On the outside there’s a plaque with family names and that’s what you pay respects to.

There were lots of tables set up with food offerings- whole cooked chicken (heads included), fruit, cakes… and what was very shocking to me, a dead pig lying on a table.…

I made a little video about the Dajia Festival! Check it out! :)


DaJi Mazu Festival

I got to experience something really awesome earlier this month in Taizhong, Taiwan: the annual Festival of Mazu! Mazu is an indigenous goddess of the sea/mother goddess that's worshipped in Asian countries. Every year in Taizhong Mazu is taken on a pilgrimmage around different temples in the area. Basically that means they take a statue/idol of Mazu and parade her around in a palanquin like royalty and it's meant to be like a vacation for her. Lots of people come to celebrate it, and when I say "lots" I mean more people than I've ever seen in my life! They all wanted to see Mazu and get blessed by her. It almost felt like a riot to be honest. At different stops along the pilgrimmage people would set up tables with food offerings and incense. They also had tents and lots of free food for the people who came, as a way of asking for blessings. People also believed that if they crounched underneath the parade and Mazu passed over them then they would get blessin…