Xigang Baotian Gong Temple Renewal Festival — 西港雙張廍保天宮入火安座大典

Posted by on Oct 18, 2013 in blog, Photography, Taiwan, Temple Culture | 6 Comments
  • SumoMe
Jishan Tang Bajiajiang dintao

Jishan Tang’s Bajiajiang Troupe at Baotian Gong Temple festival

On September 19th (this year’s moon festival) Xigang’s newly built Baotian Gong was opened. I spent the day photographing the festivities. They supplied me with a driver and I was ferried around Tainan in air conditioned comfort either alone or with the residing priest.

Dangki

General Gan, Baotian Gong Temple festival

I was supposed to be there to photograph Jishan Tang’s Bajiajiang getting ready, but was late. They started at 3am! I thought I was supposed to be there by five. They had already left. I caught up with them by 5:30 at Baotian Temple.

Bajiajiang Troupe

Paying respects at a small temple in Xigang, Baotian Gong Temple festival

We went to the old Earth God Temple, among others, in downtown Tainan to pay respects — but it is in and around Xigang that this zhentou troupe can really be appreciated.

Spirit medium

Releasing the spirit, Baotian Gong Temple festival

Their official role is to escort Xigang Chingan Temple’s main gods, but they also perform exorcism and protection rituals for the villagers as I explain here: Xigang Chingan Temple Jishan Tang Bajiajiang.

Bajiajiang blessing

Baotian Gong Temple festival

The protection ritual can be very moving, as it was at this temple, which is said to be where Xigang’s famous zhentou troupe culture began.

Bajiajiang blessing

Bajiajiang Blessing, Baotian Gong Temple festival

The relationship between the Xigang locals and the troupes is very close and the deep mutual respect is clearly evident. In the above photo General Gan blesses an elderly local, a touching moment to see this tough looking tattooed guy gently carrying out a blessing/protection ritual.

Zhentou troupe
Baotian Gong Temple festival

This gorgeous temple was in the middle of Xigang rice fields.

Celestial officer

Baotian Gong Temple festival

Guang De Tang Bajiajiang (probably the literary messenger.)

Song jiang zhen battle array

Baotian Gong Temple festival

This Song Jiang Battle Array is said to be one of Taiwan’s oldest. I was told their lion is about three hundred years old.

Ba jia jiang

Baotian Gong Temple festival

Great God Puppet

Baotian Gong Temple festival

Bajiajiang

Baotian Gong Temple festival

Eight Officers

Baotian Gong Temple festival

Demon

Baotian Gong Temple festival

Truck

Baotian Gong Temple festival

relaxing

Baotian Gong Temple festival

Fireworks

Baotian Gong Temple festival

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