The Qingshan King Ritual (青山靈安尊王) is an annual three-day temple festival held in the Monga district (艋舺/萬華) of Taipei and is used to celebrate the birth of the Taoist god Lin-An Chun Wang (靈安尊王) or the Qingshan King (青山王).
The Qingshan King is an important deity hailing from the Quanzhou (泉州) area of Fujian province in China, an area where many of the first immigrants who settled in the Taipei area originated hundreds of years ago.
Legend has it that shortly after their arrival in Taipei, a plague broke out and a lot of the new immigrants to the island suffered from a terrible sickness.
Qingshan Temple (青山宮) was one of the few places unaffected and soon became a popular place for the pious residents of the area to visit and pray for their continued health and safety.
The popularity of the temple and the god swelled after the effects of the plague subsided and the Qingshan King became an even more important patron saint for the Hokkien immigrants.
As a patron saint, the god would perform inspections of the area on occasion and thus the Qingshan King Festival evolved out of this practice and is celebrated annually during the birthday of the king.
The festival is held between October 20th-22nd (on the Lunar Calendar) and during the festival the temple followers parade the temple god around the district with his troops, oracles and generals to inspect the homes and businesses to eliminate evil spirits and suffering and to bring good luck to the locals.
It is one of the largest and liveliest temple festivals in Taipei and the entire Bangka district looks forward to this special time of the year where residents will often celebrate into the late hours of the night.
For more information about the festival and the temple, check out my blog posts about them from last year.
Qing Shan Temple | Qingshan King Festival: Part 1 / Part 2
In an attempt to attract more young people to the festival, the temple enlisted the help of their local rockstar turned politician Freddy Lim (林昶佐) to arrange a music festival the day before the festival was to kick off.
Lim, the former front man for the Taiwanese death metal band Chthonic who currently represents Bangka as a legislator took the opportunity to come out of his semi-rock-star retirement to perform with another local band which kicked off the festival in style.
The festival will be on for the next two days, but here are some photos from the second day. Enjoy.