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City god parade highlights annual cultural festival in Kinmen

2019-05-18  English News
Photo courtesy of CNA
Photo courtesy of CNA
Taipei, May 17 (CNA) Large number of worshippers and temple workers took part in a procession through the streets of Kinmen on Thursday as part of an annual religious cultural festival to celebrate the traditional Chinese deity of the city guardian, also known as Cheng Huang.

The centuries-old procession is the largest religious activity in Kinmen, with worshippers believing the city god protects their city.

The Wudao City God Parade, now in its 339th year, is held on the 12th day of the fourth month of the Chinese lunar calendar, which fell on May 16 this year.

What is unique about this year is that followers from temples in Singapore, as well as visitors from Hong Kong, made the journey to take part in the procession, Kinmen County Magistrate Yang Cheng-wu said.

Yang said he hopes that by attending the event, more people will learn about Kinmen and experience local culture.

The religious activity incorporates a series of traditional rituals, while costumed and merry-making devotees follow a palanquin on which a City God idol is carried around the island county's Jincheng Township.

Due to the cultural importance of the event it was designated "a significant folk activity" by the Ministry of Culture in 2013.

One of the most notable attractions in the annual parade was the Centipede Troupe, where children dressed as characters from traditional folk legends are seated in rows of two and collectively carried through the streets by men on their shoulders.

The City God parade was part of the 2019 Cheng Huang Festival in Kinmen, which began April 20 and will run until June 16. Festivities include folk performances, musical concert and other family-oriented activities.