Beehive Rocket Festival

Oops, forgot to turn on the microphone, I guess.

I swear, my microphone was on, but the bottle rockets were just too loud, not to mention painful too. This is undoubtedly one of the craziest festivals in the world.

Lin Yi-ren, Wu Temple Caretaker:
Emperor Guan is the main deity in Wu Temple. This temple was built in the Ching dynasty, 343 years ago. As for the Beehive Rocket Festival, it is held once a year here and it has been going on for 203 years. During the Ching dynasty, there was a plague and each day many people died. Emperor Guan said through a medium that he wanted to go around town and for people to set off bottle rockets when he went by. The packs of rockets used to look like honeycombs and the sound they made was kind of like a bee. Then the plague went away.

And that・s how the epidemic was stopped and the Beehive Rocket Festival came to be.

Michella Jade Weng, Presenter:
Gosh, last night was exciting! Still a little bit hoarse from all the screaming and a little bit shaky from all the excitement. But I still have all 10 fingers, all 10 toes and all of my limbs. So I think we're going to go explore the rest of the town. Shall we?

Yanshui was one of the four most prosperous regions in Taiwan because of its harbor, but unfortunately not anymore. These days, it・s mostly known as a historical town and of course, for shooting millions of bottle rockets in one night on the Lantern Festival every year. The other 364 days, it・s pretty quiet, and is a good place to take a walk.

And when you・re here, you・ll want to try the fried wontons made with not just ground pork, but with some fish paste mixed into the filling as well. Oh, and don・t forget the flat, thin and very al dente duck egg noodles with meat sauce. Mmmm.

As the festivities wind down in Yanshui, life returns to normal for the residents here. But even when you・re not here during the Lunar New year, it・s still a nice place to travel through on your way to someplace else.

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