Tainan Yanshui Beehive Festival kicks off

The Beehive Fireworks Festival in Tainan’s Yanshui District kicked off Saturday, with the event set to reach its climax on Sunday evening when participants with proper protective gear will be able to “bathe” in the exploding fireworks.

This year’s event will feature more than 200 stacks of fireworks, which will not disappoint participants, many of whom will be coming from far and wide to be among the fireworks as they explode, said the Yanshui Wumiao temple, which organizes the annual event.

The tradition has its roots in an old superstition among Yanshui residents dating back to the 19th century. Residents sought to use the fireworks to drive away a “deity of diseases,” whom they blamed for a lingering pandemic ravaging the area at the time.

The event started with a parade of deities, portrayed by performers or taking the form of statues seated in palanquins, who marched out from the temple in the smog from the lighting of the first stack of beehive fireworks to signal the start of the parade.

According to the temple, a brand-new element of this year’s festival is four LED-lit stacks carrying about 2 million fireworks.

The LED-lit stacks will be launched at the sports field of Tainan Municipal Yanshui Junior High School on Sunday evening, alongside high-altitude fireworks.

The Tainan City Bureau of Civil Affairs said firefighters and paramedics had been dispatched to the scene in case of an emergency.

People wanting to experience being “hit” by beehive fireworks should wear full-face helmets and thick cotton clothing instead of down jackets or plastic raincoats, to ensure their safety, the bureau said.

Cars will not be allowed to enter Yanshui after traffic controls are put in place at 3 p.m. on Sunday on all roads to Yanshui, and people driving to the event through Taiwan County Road 172 could be rerouted for Xinying Industrial Park, the bureau said.

Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel