Tainan Souvenirs: Sword Lions and Puppets
So Tainan is famous for its "Sword Lions." They were first used on the shields of Koxinga's soldiers and later they became symbol that is believed to protect you. The number and direction of the sword means different things as well. If there's two swords it means it's extra strong, if the blade points to the right it's meant to expel evil spirits, if it's pointing to the left it will supposedly bring good fortune and luck. I thought it was a pretty cool souvenir and I like the design of it.
Also, puppetry is a tradition in Taiwan, called Bu Dai Xi (布袋戲). I'm really into the story Journey to the West and I found a puppet of Sun Wu Kong, the monkey king. He's known for being mischievous and intelligent and he's pretty funny too. The cudgel (the long stick in his hand), is said to grow and shrink at will and this puppet can twirl the cudgel by a small rod in the back. These puppet shows are common on TV and sometimes are performed live. However, they're all in Taiwanese and I have no idea what they are saying if there's no subtitles.
Pretty cool, right?