They’re Back

A little over a year ago, I was lucky to come across a celebration at a temple very near my home.  Well, yesterday the blaring traditional horns and explosive fireworks let me know that something was happening again.  Following a short parade, they ended up back at the same temple. I was told they were celebrating the temple’s anniversary; I am not sure why there was year and a few weeks between the events.  I am guessing it is due to following the Lunar Calendar.

The Tall and the Short
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This will be a pretty photo heavy post, not really much commentary I need to add.  I will separate the shots between those taken during the performance and those taken in the preparation area backstage.

Duet
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The Conversation

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The Pingxi Lantern Festival

Sunday (February 28th) was the 15th day of the Lunar Year, and with that comes one of a number of celebrations in Taiwan for the Lantern Festival.  One of the biggest celebrations, if not the biggest, comes in the form of the Pingxi Sky Lantern Festival.  One this day, thousands of paper lanterns have wishes written on them, paper or some sort of fuel is lit inside and they are then left to float into the sky in the hope that the wishes will come true.

Pingxi is a pretty small town, but it is certainly loaded with people during the festival.  Although there is a location which is specifically set up for releasing the lanterns, lanterns are lit and released in many areas.

First, you choose the color of the lantern you wish to use, as each color is meant to carry a specific type of wish.  For example, white might be for a wish related to employment, red for love, or any of quite a number of other possible colors.  Being honest, I don’t remember the specifics.  Then, your wish is brushed onto the lantern using a calligraphy brush.

After the calligraphy has been done, the paper fuel is lit, which of course gives the lantern it’s lift, and when the lantern is sufficiently ready, it is left to head into the sky.

As I had mentioned, there was an area specifically designated for releasing the lanterns, but the majority were simply let go in the middle of the town, right along the train tracks.  Adding to the excitement greatly was the times when the train arrived and people had to scramble off the tracks, or get plowed over.  Fortunately, that didn’t happen, but the possibility seemed to add to the sense of fun.

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Synchronicity

Of course, everyone loves it when synchronicity hits and things fall together for the best.  Last night, in a small way, that happened to me.  Because I have been doing my Daily Someone project, I pretty much always have my camera with me.  Because I live in Taiwan, I often happen upon unexpected (to me) events at pretty random times.

Well things came together last night; as I was walking home, I came upon a celebration at a very small temple close to where I live.  Well, since I had my camera along, I was able to take some photos.

For a very small production, I have to say that the costumes and make up were first rate.  Also, while I have to admit to being a bit of a Philistine when it comes to traditional Chinese performances, it seemed to me the skill levels were very high.

Duet
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Soloist
(she was more pop than opera)
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Dihua Madness

Wow, it has been a long time since I posted.  Unfortunately, it has been just about as long since I have taken any sort of photographs whatsoever.  Well, the slump is hardly over, but on Saturday I made my way over to Dihua Street in Taipei to see what is being offered up for the Lunar New Year.

Talk about a madhouse; it is a relatively long, but narrow street and in the weeks before the New Year, it is packed with buyers and vendors.  If you can stand crowds, it is well worth checking out.  Even better is that there are samples of any kind of holiday treat you might imagine.

Bifocals
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Try Our Tea
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Mmmmm….kimchi
(makes me miss my time in Seoul)
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Interested Look
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Hawker on a Ladder
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Nut Samples
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Candy is Dandy

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Not really a lot to show, but it is something anyways.  Since I have some free time this week, I might try to get back and see what I can do on a more calm (non-weekend) day.