Sigang Festival: Thursday May 7th, 2009

One of the early processions carrying a deity in a cart.

One of the early processions carrying a deity in a cart.

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After breakfast, just as I was starting to get tired again from the jetlag, I was summoned downstairs to come outside. There was a parade coming down the street for me to view and photograph. It was a small group, wearing bright colors, led by someone banging a gong, and another man setting off small firecrackers. Behind them were a group of women in costume marching to the beat of the gong. Bringing up the rear was a group of 12 men carrying an ornate carriage decked out in flags and banners. Within, I could barely make out a small statue or doll of a Taoist deity. They came and went pretty quickly. I didn’t even have time to take a photo. It seemed insignificant, but it was actually the first few drops of a cascade of culture that would pour into the township of Sigang over the next five days.

    

Maidens on horseback visit from a neighboring village.

Maidens on horseback visit from a neighboring village.

    

A deity is brought into Sigang past our home.

A deity is brought into Sigang past our home.

    

The processions of visitors grow as they file past.

The processions of visitors grow as they file past.

As the day progressed, the heat increased. Throngs of people gathered outside our front door, borrowing our chairs for a rest. Shu-min and her mom, brought more chairs outside to accommodate weary travelers, who have walked for miles from their villages to accompany the deity of their temple. Johan and Xander used this opportunity to meet their first Taiwanese children.

Jaden being crowned by a volunteer of a passing procession.

Jaden being crowned by a volunteer of a passing procession.

A procession of children on a cart resembling a centipede.

A procession of children on a cart resembling a centipede.

One of the decorated children of the centipede procession.

One of the decorated children of the centipede procession.

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