Gods, Rockets, And Warriors-Taiwan’s Yanshui Beehive Fireworks Festival-Part 2

We get the signal, their ready to go. The men at the front of the palanquins quickly turn their backs to the wall, and brace for the  barrage of piercing rockets.

And the cacophony of the beehive began with roaring tides of bottle rocket streaks  fired off in all directions. Exploding in mid air, sometimes right in front of my mask and tiny explosions at my feet.  The giant God overseeing it soon disappeared behind the thick cloud of pyrotechnics smoke. Most of the gatherers near the pao cheng were facing the opposite direction, an extra layer of canvas protecting their backs from the bruise inducing rockets. 

Almost everyone is performing a funny shuffle with their feet to prevent bottle rockets from exploding up their legs. It’s a nervous dance I found myself instinctively doing out of fear as well. The palanquin attendants  continued to shake the Gods for good chi. 

The final wave of rockets is super intense, emitting a glow behind the giant War God. Although I’m startled by the occasional rocket blowing up in front of my face or hitting me, the energy is intoxicating, the rush is addictive, I was loving the experience.

The final rockets launched are like guided missiles directed right at the crowd, the last bit of torture before the pao cheng is put to rest.

After the beehive was finished the crowd quickly  scattered into the streets to immediately search for more pao chengs.

It seemed that  every direction you look fireworks filled the sky in the distance.

With always chance of something going off right at your feet.

A few of the followers at the close-by temple began tossing strings of firecrackers onto the streets. Sometimes not even bothering to spread them out. Little piles of explosions littered in front of us. Excerpts from Gods, Rockets, And Warriors-Taiwan’s Yanshui Beehive Fireworks Festival Part 2.


About the Author John Saboe

I am a broadcaster, photographer, writer and videographer with a passion for travel throughout Asia. I love making connections and engaging with people. I am spiritual and seek adventure wherever I go.

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