TAIPEI (Taiwan News) -- The three-day miaohui (廟會) or temple festival held by the Bangka Qingshan Temple (艋舺青山宮) in which Qingshan Wang (青山靈安尊王, King of Green Mountain) toured Taipei's Wanhua District, concluded on Saturday (Dec. 9).
The annual Bangka Qingshan Temple festival started in 1905 and is one the three largest in the city of Taipei. The three-day pilgrimage, which includes both night and day patrols, is held to drive away evil spirits and honor the Taoist deity Qingshan Wang, who is said to have rid Wanhua of the plague hundreds of years ago. The god was originally brought with Chinese immigrants during the Qing Dynasty to Taipei from Quanzhou in Fujian province.
The following are photos taken during the last day of the festival on Saturday.
Bangka Qingshan Temple Eight General Retinue
Female retinue that travel with Bajiajiang (Eight Generals).
The incense that burns on the back of their heads signifies that they are possessed by a spirit.
Living embodiment of Qingshan Wang
A young boy is selected to represent the living embodiment of Qingshan Wang.
He is surrounded by the Bajiajiang, the temple's top guardians to protect him.
Extremely rare sighting of the Yinyang diety. This is the first time he has appeared at the festival in 30 years.
Wooden statue representing Qingshan Wang, which is paraded through the streets of Wanhua on all three days.
Sedan which carries Qingshan Wang.
Bangka Qingshan Temple
The interior of the top floor of the Qingshan Temple.
Each floor of the temple houses different deities, with the top floor containing the Jade Emperor.
Dragon keeping watch on a roof of Qingshan Temple.
To provide entertainment for the gods and to attract the younger generation, dancers in skimpy outfits on stage have become another attraction at the festival.
Dancers tease the crowd members with the promise of a free poster to those who raise their hands.
Young women dressed in revealing kimonos to also entertain the gods and attract attention.
Bajiajiang Spiritual Warriors
Procession of Bajiajiang as they prepare to perform.
Video of nighttime ceremony shot by Erik Schicketanz on Dec. 8.