Kaohsiung Zuoying Wannian Folklore Festival.

Fireworks, parades, tiger floats made of bamboo and paper, the Kaohsiung Zuoying Wannian Folklore Festival is a joint celebration of temples near the scenic Lotus Lake. In 2012, more than a million and a half people visited during the nine day festival. This is one of the places where Koxinga set up camp when he came to Taiwan in the 17th century.
So why did Koxinga set up camp here? There was food, there was a source of water and the geography made it difficult to invade. The landscape was good, the water was good and the fengshui was good. Good fengshui brings temples. Temples are spiritual centers which attract people.
Immigrants from different parts of China gathered here. They brought with them the different gods they worshipped and then set up temples near the lake.
At the Wannian festival, popular treats include sweets that commemorate Baosheng Emperor the medicine god and the fiery tiger on which he rides. And then there is also this, an edible Chinese chess set.
Grandmother had five children. The youngest of which loved to play chess. But Grandmother would get angry at every meal time because she would have to go looking for him. When she found him, she would say, “you may as well have your chess pieces for dinner.” My father-in-law heard this and thought, “why not?”
In addition to eating these mung bean cakes, you can also make them here as well.
Nearby there is a Buddhist memorial park to visit, and this is what my friend Axel seemed to appreciate most out of the whole trip.
I noticed that you’re Christian, but you seemed quite interested in what was at Fo Guang Shan.
Well honestly, quite. I mean it was kind of moving. I’ve never seen such a huge (Buddhist) museum. Now I’m from France and we have Le Louvre, but it’s not quite the same. This is both artful, colorful and direct. I had a feeling then that just by walking inside the museum and not even the monastery, I could feel that everything was in unison, if you see what I mean. Everything seemed whole. That was a really, really pleasant feeling. And the whole idea of unison and bringing people together in peace is really something everybody should learn.