Tag Archives: Dragon Boat Festival

Happy Dragon Boat Festival 2017 @ Taipei!

It was all happening at Dazhi Riverside in Taipei this morning ~ the final day of 3 days of Dragon Boat Competitions!  The sun was out, the weather was warm, and everyone was rowing hard!

In good weather, and with plenty of time, the best way for me to get to Dazhi Riverside from here is by U-bike from Tamsui, and so off I set!  Before 7:00 am too, while the weather was still cooler.  It took maybe 90 minutes of slow riding, enjoying the scenery…

First stop though was the graffiti wall along by the riverside near to the Grand Hotel. The pictures are renewed often, so it’s worth checking out often!  There’s at least 50 works of art there.  These are my favourites….

And then to the dragon boat races, and after 30 minutes there – I sped off along the river in the sunshine, past the end of the Songshan Airport towards Nangang….

And so into Taipei City itself… not much traffic as it’s a holiday.

But trying to find Taipei 101 when you’re down on the streets is really hard!  Ah here it is!

Actually I was trying to find that DNA Double Helix building, the Agora Garden Tower, that I saw down below when I was up in Taipei 101 a few weeks ago (see my blog post here).  And here it is!

Y’know, from Taipei 101 looking down, the Double Helix Building is quite amazing.  But from ground level looking up, it is kinda bizarre. Looks like it’s going to topple over any minute!

While the rest of Taipei was clearly on holiday today, the Double Helix building was full of workers drilling and welding and doing things that builders do….

And next stop was Treasure Hill Artist Village on the other riverside at Gongguan…

By then it was midday, and the clouds were coming in, and starting to drizzle.  Drizzle drizzle, and so off I sped, back to Tamsui.  Got back to Tamsui soon after 2:00 pm.  Then on a packed bus home.  Tonight in Tamsui is the very big parade of the deities from all the temples – taking them all round the town in a huge long procession, while people make offerings and ask the gods for their blessings.  Pray for Tamsui.  It’s the highlight of the year for many people.  Sanzhi’s turn is on Thursday….

Yes, over 7 hours on a U-bike.  Ah, such a great way to travel!  Especially after 2 days of climbing mountains at Yang-Ming Shan.  Now stiff all over!  How on earth do so many people manage to cycle over 900 km all round Taiwan in 9 days?  Amazing.  One day is enough for me for a while!

So Happy Dragon Boat Festival to you all!

端午節 Dragon Boat Festival….

Today is the 5th day of the 5th lunar month and a holiday for  端午節 (Duan-Wu Festival) or Dragon Boat Festival ~ every year Taipei City organizes a huge Dragon Boat Race Competition on the river below the Grand Hotel, so this year checking it out…

Teams from all over the country and all over the world, including Philippines, Australia, Malaysia, Israel, teams from companies, schools, colleges, towns and even small islands, all competing in a whole weekend of competition… races all day long!

In the afternoon, off to Luzhou, part of Taipei’s urban sprawl, and right in the middle of all the high-rise buildings is the Lee family residence.  The Lee family were highly respected in Luzhou as scholars and leaders ~ the house dates from the 19th century when Luzhou was still a farming village.  Part of my extended family perhaps?! Lots of people there today for a special Dragon Boat Festival day….

And so back to Tamsui ~ where Dragon Boat Festival is celebrated every year with a huge temple celebration and parade of temple idols through the town.  People set up altars along the roadside in front of their shops and homes, ranging from a table with a few flowers and fruit, to a huge stage with idols and food etc ~ that’s what they were doing this afternoon. As tonight’s parade passes by, firecrackers are set off, offerings are made and blessings are sought…

Not surprisingly, Dragon Boat Festival is not something that local Christians celebrate, apart from eating the traditional zhong-zi, triangular sticky-rice filled with meat and eggs. Dragon Boat races are usually sponsored by local temples, and includes the blessing of the dragon boats….. and while the parade of the idols and gods in Tamsui is culturally interesting, it’s also spiritually very dark ~ Christians pray instead for God’s protection on the people and their homes…

IMG_0297And finally, there at Tamsui MRT Station I saw for the first time today a large advert for St. John’s University as we try to recruit students for the new academic year.  All sorts of scholarships on offer, depending on grades ~ and a nice photo of Advent Church – please pray for us, it’s all happening!