Keelung Mid-Summer Ghost Festival

Time for Marvel
22°C-23°C
partly cloudy with occasional showers

2017 AUG~SEP

Keelung
Mid-Summer Ghost Festival is one of the 12 major festivals designated by the
Tourism Bureau. It started in the Qing dynasty when immigrants from Fujian
settled Keelung. Because of disagreements over ancestral origins, they
clashed over business, land, plowing, customs, and beliefs, leading to armed
conflict, heavy casualties, and hostility. In 1853, a great battle was fought
at Hangding (present-day Nanrong Cemetary), with over a hundred casualties.


On the verge of another conflict, elders and leaders from either side
negotiated a truce. Bodies of the dead were referred to as “Lao Da Gong,” and
they were buried and worshipped. Based on their surname, people took turns
negotiating. These were the 11 families of Keelung, which took turns organizing
the Ghost Festival. Family relationships replaced ancestral hometowns as the
basis for ties, bringing together the two sides which took turns organizing
the festival and offering to lonely spirits. Parade competition replaced
armed conflict to preserve the peace.

The Mid-Summer Ghost Festival begins on
the first day of the seventh lunar month, when Lao Da Gong Temple opens
Kanmen, and over the next 12 days the lanterns are lit and colored thread
released on Zhupu altar. The Ying Dou Deng procession takes place on the 13th
day, the water lantern procession by the seashore on the 14th, the Ghost
Festival ceremony on the 15th, and finally comes the Jumping Zhong Kui and
Opening Kanmen, on the first day of the 8th month. The entire period lasts a
month, and is similar to the Western world’s Christmas or Japan’s Night
Parade of a Hundred Demons. Each ceremony has a historical and folk culture
signficance, and over the last few years culture and art aspects have been
integrated with the traditional ceremony. These aspects include art
exhibitions and famous groups from Taiwan and abroad. We hope that the Ghost
Festival will increase solidarity and mutual blessing among the people of
Keelung.
International
Lao Da gong Temple   No. 37, Ln. 76, Le 1st Rd., Anle Dist., Keelung CityKeelung City Anle DistrictMap
886-2-2422-4170
Cultural Affairs Bureau, Keelung City Government
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