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10/24/10 - 10/25/10 (luzhou)

Luzhou - Bali - Luzhou

Sunday turned out to be a quite day. We spent some time gearing up for the Luzhou temple festival. In the afternoon we visited Bali, a neighboring city of Luzhou. Bali is a sister city to Danshui and on the opposite side of the river bank. This shoreline is a popular family recreational area. Many people rent bikes and ride along the bank. Sunday night was a busy night and we enjoyed many local snacks and vibrant people watching. After our visit to Bali, we returned home to watch the film Red Cliff. Red Cliff is about a famous battle in Chinese history and the leaders of the battle are now modern day Chinese deities. Con Ming, known for his wisdom was a military strategist and a star of the film. Con Ming had become an important figure for me during our time in Taiwan because it was the temple dedicated to him that we visited at Sun Moon Lake. I asked two questions to Con Ming using the traditional Chinese methods and had received some profound answers. As always, it was nice to get the story to better understand the context and history.

Monday was Luzhou temple celebration. These annual festivals were very common in Taiwanese history but are beginning to die out. We were fortunate to be visiting Luzhou during this event and I woke up early to get a jump on the action. Annie’s sister had researched the schedule and the best locations for me to see the action. The festival officially started at 10am. The highlight of the festival are the ten-foot deity costumes that dance in the streets. Many of the surrounding temples will join in on the festivities and bring their deities. This is also election time in Taiwan and it is a great time for politicians to grab some free publicity. The streets were engulfed with people as the procession began. Fire crackers snapped along the pavement. People pushed to grab a fortune paper handed out by the temple floats. The parade lasted one hour with a steady stream of floats, politicians, and colorful deities. I was able to capture some great footage of the event. The parade went on all day as they visited many of Luzhou’s major streets and we could hear the drums and commotion in the distance. 

Later that night we visited one of the few western oriented restaurants in Luzhou. I was on a roll, two western meals in three days. We returned home and watched the second part of Red Cliff and packed for our big trip to Orchid Island. Annie and I had many near miss festivals during our travels and it was nice to finally be able to participate in one before heading home. 

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