100-year temple festival coming to Nantou's Zhushan township next week

A ban on the sale of meat will go into effect for 5 days and 17 schools will close for the ritual

(Image from 竹山 社寮震洪聲轎前鼓)

(Image from 竹山 社寮震洪聲轎前鼓)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) -- For the first time in 100 hundred years, a Taoist Chien Chiao (建醮) ritual will be held in Zhushan Township in Nantou County for five days from Oct. 23-27, and during this sacred period 17 schools will  closed down, hunting and fishing will be banned, as well as the sale of meat by local vendors, reported SETN

In the 300 year history of Zhushan, this is the first time this ritual will be held, which is being organized by nine local temples. During 5 days of the ritual, most local vendors and restaurants that sell meat products will other shut down or only offer vegetarian dishes. However two international food chains, McDonalds and Pizza Hut, will continue to offer dishes that contain meat, but they also promise to offer more milk, egg, and vegetarian options.

For their part, vegetarian restaurants will offer dairy and egg products for meat eaters concerned about a lack of protein during the festival. A student interviewed by TVBS best explained the rationale for not eating meat during the 5-day event, "Because it is a hundred year Chien Chiao ritual, we do not eat meat in order to respect the gods."

Chairman of the kei ming kung (克明宮) temple, Yang Fei-wu (楊非武), told TVBS that "We are proud that we will not eat meat to prohibit killing, to not destroy the living, and to express respect." 

Nantou County government officials told CNA that the event is being organized by the nine temples to bring peace to the dead after the town recently suffered a series of disasters and car wrecks. The event is held on the from the 4th day to the 8th day of the 9th lunar month (Oct. 23-27).