of Peace Festival.
Several times a year, busloads of worshippers of Wufu
Qiansui make a pilgrimage to Nankunshen Daitian Temple
in Tainan. Today my Vietnamese-French friend Dinh
and I are here to take part in the Kunshen Lords Pingan
Salt Festival. To show respect, believers often hire
performers, including traditional musicians, martial
artists and even pole dancers to entertain the gods.
In Taiwan, people believe in many gods. People are
magnanimous, and so are the gods. Today is the third
lord’s birthday. His name is Wu Siao-kuan. He is the
only lord out of the five who doesn’t have a beard.
He is herculean and handsome.
Wufu Qiansui means “five gods,” but originally there
were more than 360 gods that are a part of this group
of Daoist deities, and most of them specialized in
protecting people from plagues.
Most of the Wangye’s and their temples in Taiwan came
from Nankunshen Daitian Temple. On the third lord’s
birthday, their spirits come back and pay respect,
greet each other and get together. If they need help
with something locally, they’ll ask the main spirit
During the festival, lucky charms with salt in them
are passed out to visitors. The salt farms in the
Beimen area are the oldest existing ones in Taiwan.
Wow that is so heavy.
Yes, you got it.
In France I used to go to church. And the churches
are really different. You go to church and there are
no shops inside. People are just praying, and very
calmly. No one is screaming, so let alone imagining
having go-go dancers and all these fairs and all those
people and all those fire crackers too. That just
doesn’t happen in my country, so it’s a really interesting