Monday, December 01, 2008

Temple Celebration

As I mentioned before, our town has been vegetarian for the last three days in celebration of a local temple's renewal. When my wife and I went into town today, we stumbled onto the preparations for the massive temple celebration that evening. It looked as if our little hamlet was out to rescue Taiwan's economy all by itself...

....for stretching for about five blocks down the main drag of our part of town, where the market is, was table after table of stuff.

Stuff. Lots of it, laid out in celebration.

The traffic squeezed into the half-lane next to the tables.

Among the tables, workers could be seen arranging more. For a mere $1200, you could buy a set and have your name on it.

Nothing like a telephoto to really put things into perspective.

More pics of the endless array, just cuz I like looking at it.

The market was alive with vendors, as always.

We walked into the temple past this small kitchen, where an army of women was busy cooking.

Overwhelmed by the crush? A woman looks pensive.

More mounds of stuff for the temple.

A group of women sings.

What is she doing? (woman in pink pants).

The gods look down.

What economic crisis?

Enormous sacks of rice.

Taking a break from the noise and fuss.

More food at the front of the temple.

A close up of one of the figures in the plates on the right of the previous picture.

"The greatest nation is donation."

A list of what sutras will be said, and when.


We walked out to the front of the temple where they were setting up still more tables filled with food.

And still more food in the other direction, this time rice already prepared, and noodles.

Workers discuss deployment.

Now that vegetarianism is over, meat is what's for dinner.

A vendor sells goat.

"Daddy, I want one!"

A temple worker checks a list.

Another view of the monstrous quantities of stuff.

The head of the temple association stopped me in the street for a moment to chat. Hanging from his neck was a wonderful old museum piece, a Canon FTB with the old match-needle exposure system. That was the camera I learned on back when I was a teenager.

These two girls were about to come across when they saw me taking pictures in the little walkway. Suddenly they halted and looked at me with haunted uncertainty, as if to say "Uh-oh. It's well known that foreigners eat little children, and while he's probably already fed today, he might still be hungry..."

The town had also celebrated by selling lanterns which everyone was supposed to hang up in the doorway. I'd like to show you a picture of ours, but my teenagers hadn't hung it up yet. You see, my kids suffer from ADD: Adolescent Deafness Disorder. The symptoms of this inherited disease are characterized by much unnecessary parental repetition, as in:

Dad: Didn't I tell you to hang that lantern three times yesterday?
Son: But Daaaad, I didn't HEAR you.
Dad: Well go hang 'it!


Anonymous said...

Don't worry..deafness will soon be replaced by worse....

Anonymous said...

Amazing photos! I need a telephoto ;)

Taiwan Echo said...

Dad: Didn't I tell you to hang that lantern three times yesterday?
Son: But Daaaad, I didn't HEAR you.
Dad: Well go hang 'it!"

urrhhh .... Michael, are you sure you did tell them yesterday ?

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Anonymous said...

Hey... didn't anyone tell those guys there's a recession going on? Look at all of that food!!!! That's a lot of vouchers.

I bet it would drive those missionaries crazy if they all spent their vouchers on food for Bai Bai.

Anonymous said...

Loving this! ^_^
This even beats some of our Tainan based celebrations :P

(and I also like the layout, which I didn't notice through the RSS feeds)

TicoExpat said...

WOW, very impressive array, and very good pics.

As to the teenagers... meipanfa.

Anonymous said...

Is this in Tanzi?

Robert Scott Kelly said...

Great stuff, Michael. If anyone is interested, Jiaoshi is having one of these once in a decade bai bais right now. The main event will be on Wednesday. I was there today and couldn't even get a dumpling with some meat in it.

Jiaoshi is in Ilan county on the east coast. You can walk to the temples and event locations in a few minutes from the train station.