**Sorry, ANOTHER CORRECTION** For Singang the days to visit are Monday and Tuesday - by Wednesday it will have moved on.
The events for the first day were correct but the stuff I wrote about for Tues&Wed. all happens on Tuesday.
**CORRECTION** I guess my own post was leaning to the terrible side**
NOT a Monday to Wednesday event as posted Secondly
NOT a Sunday to Tuesday as first posted.
I saw this question elsewhere online (but it was answered terribly)
When is the Mazu 8 Day Pilgrimage Held in Taiwan in 2011?
Every year there is a festival to honour Mazu the goddess of Fishermen in Taiwan.
There is a 8 day walk with thousands of people.
I want to join in during 2011.
So when exactly is it held???
Dajia Mazu arrival in Singang Township, Jiayi county -**CORRECTION** Monday April 11th, 2011**
Sorry I don't know when it starts and ends in Dajia, Taichung county but I can tell you about Singang Township,Jiayi county. The Mazu idol arrives at the big temple in Singang Township,Jiayi county on **CORRECTION** Monday April 11th, 2011**and then heads back to Dajia in Taichung county on
**CORRECTION** about 1am Wednesday April 13th, 2011**.
Mazu herself set the date by the tossing of blocks in her home temple. I have been a English teacher in Singang for 3 years and in past years the vehicle procession has arrived on a Monday at 3pm in 2009 and Monday at 5pm in 2010. I hope they get here a bit earlier in 2011 since the students at my school have Monday and Tuesday off school in 2011. In my previous 2 years my students have been off school Tuesday and Wednesday. The walkers start and arrive earlier in the day.
The vehicle procession arrives and snakes its way around the town and right up to the temple. Lots firecrackers, music and dragon /lion dancers at this time. Mazu is at the end of the Parade.(Not Santa!) Pick a place at the north end of town to watch the inbound parade because once the parade hits the temple the parade stops and everyone sits down on the street and has their dinner. This is a hour long lull in the festival. After Dinner the focus shifts to the big temple. Singang was built for the temple with a wide main street meeting the temple. The various groups in the temple parade do their own ceremony in front of the temple. 50mm fireworks are common but I've seen bigger and smaller. Firecrackers come in the loud or smokey variety. I find the horns and drums more appealing. Some bring pounding dance music. Each of the giant puppets does their own dance in front of the temple. It is late in the night before the Mazu enters the temple. Giant fireworks are saved for this. I once saw fireworks for 45minutes nonstop after the local Mazu idol entered the temple after her Jiayi county tour.(yes, it is crazy)
Day two - **CORRECTION** Tuesday April 12, 2011. At about 8 am all the faithful are lined up on the street kneeling before the temple. prayers are lead from the temple on loudspeaker. Many walkers leave town after the prayer service. (calm, peaceful, so different from the previous night )
After the prayers the whole town turns into a giant night market. Oddly, many local shops are closed for the festival but the added the street vendors are more than enough to feed and clothe everyone. More Fireworks and temple processions at night but not as much as the first night. I've been told late in the evening or past midnight the Mazu heads back to Taichung County.
Day three - **CORRECTION** Wednesday April 13, 2011. By the time Wednesday roles around just a few stragglers are left in town and the kids are all back in school.
Acommodations - local motels and homestays can't hold all the pilgrims so the whole town is a big campgroud. Students at the local schools have 2 days off. You can set up a tent at any school or park. The ground floor covered walkways of my school fill up first since they are protected from the rain and sun. Many are drinking beer at the school or park , no problem. Vacant lots fill up with people in campers and vans also. The towns parking garage is also an option (park and camp). At the peak I saw cars parked 2km from the temple on the highway. Of course a scooter can get much closer. I'm sure it is not a problem to camp in Singang all weekend. **CORRECTION** not a weekend event as I previously posted. many come early.
Location - Singang is on hwy 159 (Beigang Road) between Jiayi city and Beigang. Hwy 159 is the Jiayi exit from the 1 superhighway. Central Singang (the big temple) is about 15km North-west of the Jiayi city train station. At the front of the train station you can buy a bus ticket to Singang for 46nt. Buses only run until about 10pm. You could rent a scooter if you dare. Taxi is about 350nt. (25min)
Central Singang (the big temple) is 6km East of the Beigang.
Central Singang (the big temple) is about 10km West of the Minhsiung train station but buses run less often.
High speed rail is about 10km South of Singang. It is about a 200nt taxi ride to Singang (15 min.) No scooter rental at HSR station. Sorry don't know about buses from the HSR.
Checkout my pics via the links below.
This is something to see or I would not take the time to write this.
Any Saturday or Sunday in March or April has some kind of Temple Parade going on.
P.S. tell them "Teacher Gerry" sent you.
2010 pilgrimage pics link - http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=1 ... c01435b27a
2009 pilgrimage pics link - http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=8 ... 512393f2e5