Our bus was old and practically falling apart as rattled through the banana fields. The sun glared down at us in such a menacing way I had no idea whether we were fated to fry in our wheeled tin can. Fortunately, it only looked hot outside. My brother had come to visit me in Taiwan and I promised to show him something exotic. I had heard about some colorful temples in southern Taiwan and picked one that had the wildest reputation of all: Nankunshen Temple, near Tainan.
As we approached the temple we saw strangely colored vehicles (green, pink and purple??!!) with mirrors on them. People of all ages waited nearby for to head to the temple. Little did we know what lay ahead...
-- Eric Trachtenberg
Vehicles carrying the gods wait by the temple gate as assorted deities and escorts file out.
A god talking to a friend. The shorter more rotund gods often protect the family and bring good luck and fertility.
The tall gods were often spirits of famous generals with each flag on their backs representing an army.
The older gods usually were the leaders of the heavenly bureaucracy and held wisdom of the ages.
Escorting the gods where some very enthusiastic young men who beat their drums very loudly. Things were to get more interesting soon.
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Pictures: Eric Trachtenberg