Thousands of people lit small paper homes and scattered them onto the placid waters near Keelung’s Badouzih early yesterday, part of an annual rite meant to placate the souls of the dead during the colorful Ghost Month observances.
Every year Taiwanese honor wandering ghosts in the hope they will cease to haunt the living. The Chinese tradition — embraced by many Taiwanese — holds that the gates of the netherworld open once every 12 months and ghosts walk the earth freely for 30 days.
Those who treat them well — showing their obeisance by burning models of items the ghosts might covet — are assured a year of peace and prosperity.
PHOTO: WANG MIN-WEI, TAIPEI TIMES
This year’s ceremony in Keelung began with a three-hour parade featuring lion dances and traditional music.
Thousands of people marched through the city streets, holding banners aloft with elaborately written family names and chanting ritual prayers.
Wu Hou-jing, a representative of the Wu family association, said the event was meant to bring peace to the souls of people who had perished in battles in the area.
“People from southeast China immigrated to Taiwan,” he said.
“Sometimes they would become casualties in land battles and sometimes in sea battles, like when the Dutch invaded the region. We are holding a ceremony for all of them, to help bring them peace,” he said.
Shortly after midnight, parade participants launched dozens of elaborately painted paper houses onto the sea, setting them alight amid a cacophony of exploding firecrackers and ritual chants.
“We are lighting these water lanterns to give some light to the wandering souls,” Taoist priest Lee Wu-chi said. “The lanterns will lead the souls of the ghosts safely back to shore.”
OFFLINE: People who do not wish to register can get the money from select ATMs using their bank card, ID number and National Health Insurance card number Online registration for NT$6,000 (US$196.32) cash payments drawn from last year’s tax surplus is to open today for eligible people whose national ID or permanent residency number ends in either a zero or a one, the Ministry of Finance said on Monday. Officials from the ministry revealed which days Taiwanese and eligible foreigners would be able to register for the cash payments at a joint news conference with the Ministry of Digital Affairs. Online registration is to open tomorrow for those whose number ends in a two or three; on Friday for those that end in a four or five: on Saturday
Civil Aeronautics Administration (CAA) officials are investigating why a Starlux Airlines flight to Penang, Malaysia, returned to Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport nearly two hours after takeoff yesterday morning. The airline said in a statement that Flight JX721 to Penang took off from Taoyuan airport at 9:20am. “After the dashboard showed a signal of an abnormality in the hydraulic system, the captain followed standard operating procedures and returned the flight to Taoyuan airport for safety precautions,” the airline said, adding that the flight landed safely at the airport at 11:04am. The airline arranged for the passengers to have lunch after the flight landed and
TECH PROGRAM: A US official said that an important part of the delegation’s trip would be to meet with Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co executives The US is to send officials in charge of chip development to Taiwan, Japan and South Korea to promote cooperation in the global semiconductor supply chain, the US Department of Commerce said on Tuesday. Chips Program Office Director Michael Schmidt announced the visit, which marks the first time officials from the office are to visit the three nations since it was set up in September last year. “As semiconductors and technologies continue to evolve, the United States will keep working with allies and partners to develop coordinated strategies to ensure that malign actors cannot use the latest technologies to undermine our collective
WORKING UP AN APPETITE: Sales at the Rueifong Night Market surged 20 to 30 percent, while seats at Liouhe Night Market were packed until 1am, market officials said South Korean pop band Blackpink’s concerts over the weekend in Kaohsiung helped draw large crowds to local night markets, the Kaohsiung City Government said yesterday. The two concerts on Saturday and Sunday at Kaohsiung National Stadium drew more than 90,000 people. The city government offered NT$50 vouchers to spend locally to concertgoers who showed their ticket stubs. Liouhe Night Market (六合夜市) management committee head Chuang Chi-chang (莊其章) said that crowds over the weekend surged at about 10pm and the market remained packed until 1:30am. “Almost all the seats were filled,” Chuang said. Night market stall owners had stocked up in expectation of an increased number