An Epic Party...
The temples in Taiwan are known for their great parades, but this was the greatest one I've seen yet.
Forgive my lack of knowledge about Taiwanese Taoism and the culture surrounding the temples. I'm not one for research when it comes to my photography. I don't really know much about the gods they worship or the holidays they celebrate.
However, I can tell you that the temple parades usually happen on gods' birthdays and close to Chinese New Year. The gods are carried around to bless different temples, businesses, and people who made offerings.
Parades like this are usually full of loud music, fire crackers, and dancers (of all kinds). I never thought a religious festival could be so fun and lively. People even get drunk at these things.
The temples in Taiwan are basically run and protected by the mafia. Although gang police were scattered about, when the Temples get together, they play by their own rules.
Nonetheless, other than a few drunk drivers and the occasional scuffle these events are usually peaceful.
My experience with the Taoists in Taiwan has been that their religion is both deeply rooted and highly tolerant. I find this fascinating for obvious reasons.
It has always it seemed to me that the more deeply rooted one is in religion the less tolerant they are.
Even though I've been in Taiwan for 5 years I've made very little efforts to learn about Taoism and the Temple culture here. This is mostly because indiscriminate scorn I've held towards religion my whole life, but perhaps it's time for me to do a bit of digging.
At the very least I'll be able to write future articles like this with a bit more authority and competency. That alone seems worth the effort.