端午節 Dragon Boat Festival….

Today is the 5th day of the 5th lunar month and a holiday for  端午節 (Duan-Wu Festival) or Dragon Boat Festival ~ every year Taipei City organizes a huge Dragon Boat Race Competition on the river below the Grand Hotel, so this year checking it out…

Teams from all over the country and all over the world, including Philippines, Australia, Malaysia, Israel, teams from companies, schools, colleges, towns and even small islands, all competing in a whole weekend of competition… races all day long!

In the afternoon, off to Luzhou, part of Taipei’s urban sprawl, and right in the middle of all the high-rise buildings is the Lee family residence.  The Lee family were highly respected in Luzhou as scholars and leaders ~ the house dates from the 19th century when Luzhou was still a farming village.  Part of my extended family perhaps?! Lots of people there today for a special Dragon Boat Festival day….

And so back to Tamsui ~ where Dragon Boat Festival is celebrated every year with a huge temple celebration and parade of temple idols through the town.  People set up altars along the roadside in front of their shops and homes, ranging from a table with a few flowers and fruit, to a huge stage with idols and food etc ~ that’s what they were doing this afternoon. As tonight’s parade passes by, firecrackers are set off, offerings are made and blessings are sought…

Not surprisingly, Dragon Boat Festival is not something that local Christians celebrate, apart from eating the traditional zhong-zi, triangular sticky-rice filled with meat and eggs. Dragon Boat races are usually sponsored by local temples, and includes the blessing of the dragon boats….. and while the parade of the idols and gods in Tamsui is culturally interesting, it’s also spiritually very dark ~ Christians pray instead for God’s protection on the people and their homes…

IMG_0297And finally, there at Tamsui MRT Station I saw for the first time today a large advert for St. John’s University as we try to recruit students for the new academic year.  All sorts of scholarships on offer, depending on grades ~ and a nice photo of Advent Church – please pray for us, it’s all happening!

Advertisements
This entry was posted in Taiwan and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s