Qi'ao Blessings Parade -- Dragon Boat Festival
Designated a provincial intangible cultural heritage in 2015, the Qi'ao Blessings Parade has a history of 150 years. It is an opportunity to pray for good weather for crops and the safety of villagers.
Dozens of revered elders clean the Tin Hau Goddess, Tide Grandfather, Cai Second General, and other sculptures before putting them in two sedan chairs. Then follows a series of rituals such as offering sacrifices to heaven and earth, presenting articles of tribute, and setting off firecrackers. Led by lion dances, a parade sets out from the ancestral shrine and proceeds through the Dong’ao Ancient Temple, Wenchang Pavilion, Avalokitesvara Pavilion, Tin Hau Temple, and Baishi Street before returning to the ancestral shrine. Spectators along the way set off firecrackers and offer articles of tribute to pray for home safety and booming business.
Upon approaching the Wenchang and Avalokitesvara pavilions, the marchers stay for a while to perform lion dances and pray for blessings, especially for students. Some in gowns distribute safety rice, safety tea, safety talismans, and disease-eliminating wine to villagers. All this is of conventional significance for driving out evil spirits, praying for blessings, and preventing epidemics during the festival.
Furthermore, traditional shallow-sea fishing activities such as catching crabs and flower-horn cichlids and digging milkfish are also be demonstrated.