Last week I had the great luck to stumble across a religious procession that was cutting through an alley just as I was cutting across it, camera in hand. Ok, so the second part isn't luck, as the camera is always in hand.
I don't know much about local religious stuff, as local religious types never show up at my door to convert me to whatever version of Disembodied Other Minds With Magic Powers they happen to believe in, ask me to discriminate against people because they don't like what they do with their genitals, or demand that we give up our democracy because it is incompatible with their love of power. One of the great things about Chinese culture is the widespread and serene tolerance of the religious beliefs of others -- a tolerance I heartily subscribe to -- coupled with a reassuring lack of the missionary impulse, except among Buddhists (for whom tolerance is also an important value). Hence, I haven't looked into local religous belief because it is (1) a hugely complex field of study and (2) no threat to any of the freedoms I believe in.
So, sadly, although I can offer you pics, I have nothing intelligent to say about what they mean. Consult your local anthropologist.
The brightly-lit vehicles emerge from around a bend in the alley.
A troupe of female drummers provides sound effects.
The procession was endless.
A close-up of one of the vehicles.
Such processions are always accompanied by police who shut down traffic. At the speed of the marchers on foot, the parade took about 15 minutes to pass by.
A vehicle pushes through smoke from fireworks.
A marcher prepares to launch fireworks.
Parading the temple god around.