A couple of my Bombing Master Handan Festival photos were used for flightnetwork’s article ‘The 13 Creepiest Festivals You’d Never Heard of‘.
The article written by Matt Gibson, who lived in Taiwan for several years, covers some crazy festivals from around the world. Of bombing Handan he writes:
“Taitung, Taiwan – Forget tickets. We’ve got fireworks! Each year on January 15, during the Yuanxiao Festival Taitung locals gather for the Bombing of Master Han Dan – an event in which they throw fireworks at a shirtless volunteer in hopes of a prosperous new year.
Master Han Dan was a rich Shang Dynasty general who eventually became the god of wealth. It’s also said that he despised the cold, so locals believe the more fireworks they throw at him (to keep him warm), the more wealth they will enjoy in the coming year. A volunteer, posing as Master Han Dan, stands shirtless on a chair with a tree branch over his face and earplugs in his ears as citizens pelt him with fireworks.
If the noise isn’t unbearable, the smoke usually is, but participants who come prepared with goggles, face masks and protective clothing continue to bomb away. And while most of the temporary Master Han Dan’s come out with only minor injuries, one volunteer did lose his hearing a few years back. Despite how difficult this event can be to watch, it sure does bring the people a lot of joy.
If you think can handle it head over to Matheson’s website, The Taiwan Photographer for more photos…”
Another crazy Taiwan fireworks festival worth mentioning is Yanshui Beehive Rocket Festival.