Stuck in the Middle: Temple Procession In Taiwan

A couple of weeks ago, I stopped for a moment to admire the temple detail and photograph the temple décor and all of a sudden…

 Bang, bang, bang, bang….!!

I covered my ears in an attempt to drown out the blasting sound of the fireworks being launched a mere meter away from me. My vision was then blurred by the cloud of smoke lifting from the sudden eruption of firecrackers beside me. I looked around and there I was, right in the middle of a temple procession honoring Matzu.  As the rain began to pour, men with God costumes danced and swayed around me, drums pounded behind me, and I decided to just go with the flow and soak up the energy, atmosphere, and chaos surrounding me. 

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Yes, I did stick out like a sore thumb.  Not only did I look different, but my clothes shouted to the spectators that I didn’t belong.  Plus I didn’t have any purpose: no drum to beat, no flag to wave, no sign to hold.  But, I was surrounded with a bunch of welcoming smiles which made me feel comfortable and gave me the courage to soak up and enjoy this rare experience. 

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As I walked, I eventually navigated my way through the Gods and the flags and found my husband on the side smiling and admiring my clever maneuver moves.    I have to admit that this wasn’t the first time I witnessed a temple celebration but it was the first time I ‘accidentally’ participated in one.  As I snap some photos on the sideline, I was greeted with smiles and many participants stopped to pose for me.  They all made me feel welcome.

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Then, the possession came to a halt because of a red light. There was huge torrential downpour so the ‘Gods’ decided to seek shelter from the rain under a nearby walkway where I was.  The God costumes were carefully placed on a neatly laid cloth to give the men a break.  I had the opportunity to talk to some of them.  Most of the conversation surrounded me: where I was from, my blue eyes, my Chinese ability, etc. 

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And as the procession continued and could be only seen in a far off distance, I couldn’t help but remember what I always tell myself ‘Any situation can turn into an awesome experience as long as you approach it with a positive attitude and smile.’

And I did smile….!!!

How about you?  Did you ever ‘accidentally’ experience something rare and unique like this?

Linking up with My Travel Monkey for #MondayEscapes

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43 thoughts on “Stuck in the Middle: Temple Procession In Taiwan

  1. Love the gods on quads! We had a similar experience once at a temple in Indonesia, although we didn’t participate as it was clearly a very private and religious ceremony, but we were able to watch from the sidelines (also cowering in the pouring rain) and felt privileged (as the only tourists for miles around )to have witnessed something so intimate.

  2. Your photos are always so vibrant and enlightening which is a great aspect about your blog. This post in particular is great and I really enjoyed learning more about this particular procession in Taiwan. I can’t say I know anything about this part of the world really but continuing to return to your blog, I am certainly learning more all the time.

  3. haha what a random thing to get stuck in the middle of–but those are the moments you remember, huh? Great post! 🙂

  4. This is very unusual, but I’m sure I’d have loved to get involved in such procession too, it doesn’t happen everyday and it’s something definitely unique to experience! 🙂

    1. Thanks for dropping by, Franco! It was definitely an experience that I will never forget. I love when things just happen – it made for one interesting afternoon, that’s for sure!

  5. I think going with the flow sometimes often brings the best and most unique experiences. I would love to have seen a procession like this, what wonderful costumes. And love how they were so intrigued by you! Thanks so much for linking up with #MondayEscapes

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