Happy Lantern Festival! In Taitung County, celebrations hit off with its unique "Bombing Lord Handan" cultural activity. This year, the event started on Feb. 19, with two Lord Handan troupes offering to be bombed. The event attracted many residents and tourists to line up and watch. Let's take a look together.
The "Bombing Lord Handan" activity is unique to Taitung County. It celebrates the Lantern Festival, which was on Feb. 19 this year. The first bombing event took place in Taitung City outside a fitness center around noon. There were two people playing the role of Lord Handan in this event. The two bare-chested men stood on palanquins, while long-time Lord Handan portrayers led a new generation behind them. The lords were carried around to shops and endured the barrage of firecrackers thrown at them by business owners. They carried banyan tree sprigs with them, which they used to brush away the firecrackers that made contact with their bodies. Mr. Liu, who has portrayed Lord Handan for more than two decades, said the use of a two-man formation in the first session was an attempt to pass down this local folk tradition to future generations.
The firecrackers used now are more powerful, but we still do this. We have ways to deal with it, it's nothing.
Processions from two temples took part in the event. A total of 15 bombing events are scheduled for Feb. 19 and 20 in the city center. There will be a last event at Taitung Seaside Park on Feb. 23 in conjunction with the Taitung City Office's Lantern Festival tourism activities. The office reminds the public to wear protective equipment to avert injuries from exploding firecrackers.