Fri, Dec 01, 2017 - Page 14 News List

Awakening the Green Mountain King

Mostly dormant for the past decade, Banciao’s Ling An Temple is reviving its unique annual religious procession this weekend to celebrate its chief deity’s birthday

By Han Cheung  /  Staff reporter

Tsai Ming-li (蔡明利) concluded his 30-year career with the troupe in 2014, passing on the torch to his nephew. Tsai says bajiang members are carefully selected for dedication and temperament.

“Our steps, clothes, face paint and roles are all different,” Tsai says, as he displays a wall of weapons and ancient torture devices wielded by the bajiang troupe.

Hung says that their face paint is slightly different from that of the parent temple because they first commissioned the leader of a theater troupe to design them, eventually becoming a unique new style.

The temple is still waiting for a new spirit medium, however, as Hung says they can only be appointed by Qingshanwang. While the temple cannot perform certain services, Hung says it remains quite popular.

“It’s mostly by word of mouth,” he says. “One person comes here and finds that it works, and they’ll go tell their friends and family.”

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