Taiwan Festivals
  Taiwan Festivals > Temple Festivals > Donggang King Boat Ceremony

Home Credit Sitemap  
Donggang King Boat Ceremony  
  Date:Mid. September of lunar calendar, every three years
Activities Information
list page The First one Previous Next The last one  
"Welcoming Wangyeh" and "passing over the fire" are held on the seashore on the first day,
Place: Donglong Temple, No. 21-1, Donglong St., Donggang, Pingtung County
1. Siaogang Airport →Pingtung Bus,Kaohisung Bus,Jhongnan Bus →Donggang
2. Pingtung Airport →Pingtung Bus →Donggang
1. Kaohsiung Railway Station →Pingtung Bus,Kaohisung Bus,Jhongnan Bus,Kuo-Kuang Bus →Donggang
2. Linbian Railway Station →Pingtung Bus,Jhongnan Bus,Kuo-Kuang Bus →Donggang
Tel: 08-8323374

The Donglong temple was established in the 45th ruling year of Emperor Kangsi of Ching Dynasty (1706). It is said that a divine tree with the mark of "Donggang Wen's" was found on the seashore of Donggang, showing Wen Wangyeh 's intention to stay in Taiwan, so the Donglong temple was built for him. The Donggang King Boat Ceremony is organized by Donglong temple every three years when it comes to the 2nd, 5th 8th and 11th year of the Chinese 12-year cycle.

Wangyeh's originally name was Wen Hong, who was born in Shantung Province in Sui Dynasty in the seventh century. He once saved the life of Emperor Tangtaizong of Tang Dynasty and was rewarded with the post of scholar, an academic honor together with other 35 people who also involved in the rescue of the Emperor, known as 36 scholars. Unfortunately, Wen Hong and other 35 scholars all died in an accident on the sea during a patrolling trip around the country. Tangtaizong believed that he became a god in the celestial world and honored him with the name "Dai Tien Hsun Shou" (representing the emperor to visit or patrol around the country), and a boat in his honor "the boat of Wen Wangyeh" was built to worship him whenever the boat arrived. People believed that when Wangyeh came, he could drive away the pestilence for them.

The ceremony of burning the king boat is a well-known activity along the southwest coast of Taiwan and has been one of the most famous temple fairs in Taiwan. The burning of king boat means originally dispelling of diseases or evil spirits but has become now an activity of praying for healthy and peaceful life. However, the strong image of the god of pestilence in this ritual still gives the ceremony a solemn and mysterious look.

The king boat built by Donggang's people follows ancient techniques. It takes a long period for the construction, which usually starts two years before the ceremony. Wood materials with high quality are selected. The complex structure of the boat, meticulous carving, colorful painting, and elaborate decorations are mostly designed and constructed based on ancient traditions. The artistic construction and the great efforts being devoted from all the residents bring Donggang the honor of "the Home Town of King Boat".

The Ceremony of Donggang King Boat is the largest one in Taiwan. The ceremony lasts for 7 days. It begins with the rituals of "Welcoming Wangyeh" and "passing over the fire" held on the seashore on the first day, a four-day procession trip of Wangyeh around Donggang and neighboring towns is taken place starting from the second day, a boat touring procession is held on the sixth day, and on the seventh day, the ceremony of sending off Wangyeh is held and the king boat is burned as a symbolization of driving away diseases and evil spirits.

Back More Festivals...

Copyright (c) 2005 OCAC all rights reserved  僑委會著作權聲明