Releasing the Fire Lion: Bao-an Cultural Festival in TPE
Dalongtong Bao-an Temple is one of the oldest temples in Taipei City, located in one of the oldest neighborhoods of the city – Datong District. With a large number of old buildings, this area is known for places like the old “Yuan-huan” night market (an old night market complex built in the early 1900’s which has been rebuilt into something that hardly resembles its old self) and the Confucius Temple.
The Baosheng Cultural Festival is an annual event that celebrates the birthday of Baosheng Emperor, a chinese diety with a portfolio in herbalism and other fun stuff. Now, since the event celebrates the birthday of the god, visitors should not be surprised to find events such as parades and shows like Taiwanese operas and kung-fu performances.
However, one of the most amazing events of this festival (or should I say “shocking”) is the ‘Release of the Fire Lion” – more like setting off the lion fireshow IMHO. Taking place in the night, its actually a painstaking event to organize – they have to call the nearby Songshan Airport to receive a clearance time to set off all the fireworks.
Here’s an image I captured, from a squished position inside the temple doors. You can see the fireworks being released from the back of the lion, as well as from the plaza right across from the temple.
In case any of you want to see the show: be responsible of your own safety! Even though its supposedly ‘safe’, no one can ever tell for sure, with the fireworks going off within a few steps from the crowd.
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