Taiwan-Chiayi_Cheng_Huang_God_Patrol-82

Taiwan, Chiayi, the last day of the Ghost Month - Celebration Cheng Huang God Patrol

At night, ghost dancers and protectors are ready to take the roaming ghosts in who dared to stick around after the ‘gates of hell’ have been closed. As the dancers, troups and ‘ghostbusters’ roam the city, many use the occassion to lay out their offerings and pray (mostly for protection and good fortune). This event is about the Shi Jia Jiang (patroling figures). Every July in the lunar calendar, the ceremonies hold to honor Cheng Huang God in Chiayi are amongst the most characteristic religious rituals in Taiwan. Assuming that, after all, there are still some ‘brothers and sister’ on the loose, the city of Chiayi on Taiwans western shorelines is well prepared to finally banish those ghostly rebels from the realm of the living. On the first day following ghost month, they release the Ba Jia Jiang (the incarnations of the ‘Eight Infernal Generals’) who succesfully performed exorcism of evil spirits for the emperors back in the days. Today they’re revered as the gods of the underworld, representing the bodyguards for Cheng Huang (City Gods) temples.