The Bombing of Tudi Gong

I was recently lucky enough to experience one of the very local, very folkish Taiwanese religious festivals.  On the last day of the Lunar New Year holiday, a certain neighborhood in Neihu (Taipei City), Taiwan celebrates the Earth God, Tudi Gong (土地公).  For more than one hundred years, the local business have prayed to this Daoist God for wealth and a prosperous new year.

The do this in a way that might seem quite odd to most people.  They pile boxes and boxes of firecrackers on his palankeen (yeah, that’s a new word for me, too), and then basically do their best to blow him up.  They do this over and over again in front of all the neighborhood business all night long, making for quite a spectacle.

Tudi Gong Festival 001

The Bombing of Tudi Gong is a Daoist religious festival held on the last day of the Lunar New Year Holiday.

Tudi Gong is the God of the Earth.  He’s everyone’s local God and the most approachable of the heavenly deities.  In older times, every village would have a temple dedicated to him and pray to him in times of drought or famine.  He’s actually still quite popular in Taiwan and shrines to him are quite common.

After a bit of research, I haven’t been able to find out why he likes to have firecrackers blown up all around him, but I don’t really care, it’s a lot of fun anyway.

Tudi Gong Festival 008

Get ready!!!

Tudi Gong Festival 019

Tudi Gong Festival 005

“I don’t think that’s enough. Maybe we should add some more.”

Tudi Gong Festival 018

“Just in case the fireworks aren’t loud enough, I’m going to bang this gong.”

Tudi Gong Festival 013

This guy’s got the greatest job in the world.

Tudi Gong Festival 014

Tudi Gong Festival 015

Tudi Gong Festival 016

Tudi Gong Festival 010

Tudi Gong Festival 021

Tudi Gong Festival 012

Don’t worry, the fire department was there.

Tudi Gong Festival 011

That’s not confetti.

Tudi Gong Festival 002
Tudi Gong Festival 007
Tudi Gong Festival 017
Tudi Gong Festival 004

Tudi Gong Festival 006

Tudi Gong Festival 003

Just your average, neighborhood block party.

The Bombing of Tudi Gong from Neil Wade on Vimeo.

Advertisements
Categories: PHOTOGRAPHY | 1 Comment

Post navigation

One thought on “The Bombing of Tudi Gong

  1. Nice photos

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Blog at WordPress.com.

%d bloggers like this: