Taipei (Taiwan, News) -- The "Techno-Dancing Third Prince" (電音三太子) troupe Marshal of the Central Altar temple of Luzhou (蘆洲中壇元帥民社館) held a parade on Christmas Day in Taipei's Zhongshan District featuring a mix of modern and traditional elements, including a provocative pole performer.
The troupe held the parade to honor their god the Third Prince (三太子), also known as Nezha (哪吒) or the Marshal of the Central Altar (中壇元帥), who was being taken back to his home temple after being carried on a holy pilgrimage to protect local residents. The Taoist deity, who gained his name as the third son of General Li Jing (李靖), is a rebellious child often seen riding on Wind and Fire Wheels (風火輪) and carrying a Fire-tipped Spear (火尖槍).
Parade participants in Third Prince costumes
The term "Techno-Dancing Third Prince" refers to a recent fad among temples devoted to the child prince of combining traditional costumes with throbbing techno beats to appeal to a younger generation of followers. Such performances and parades now feature people in Third Prince costumes gyrating to pop music pumping out of lowrider hatchbacks, which themselves are covered in pulsating neon lights and belch balls of fire from their roofs.
Huge speakers mounted on back of car to crank out music for the parade.
In addition to flashing lights, music, and more brightly colored costumes, parades for deities such as this now often include scantily clad showgirls to generate more "renao" (熱鬧) or "excitement," to energize the crowd and draw blessings from the gods, and this parade was no exception as can be seen in the video below:
In Taiwan, pole dancers can also be seen at temple festivals, weddings, and even funerals to provide entertainment for both the living and the spirit world.