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Magic Planet Earth

My Scholarship entry - Burning of the King Boat


In a circle of three years a number of temples in Taiwan practise a old ritual where big beautiful boats are build to be burned once completed.
The origin of this tradition is dating back to the 18th century when a crew less boat arrived on shore. People who discovered this boat held it for a ghost ship and filled it up with all necessities on sea and send it back to where it came from. It became a tradition to build a boat and pack it with lots of goods such as food, drink, valuables and even games for entertainment and burn it after all bad spirits of the neighbouring towns been brought on board as well. At some point in history they start to burn the ship rather than send it out to the sea because of the bad spirits such as sickness they put on board, it has been considered that the ship will get on land at some other point and will bring evil to the people there.
On the first image a village leader takes a careful look that no mistakes are made during the loading and preparation of the ship. There are many rules and orders to be respected to assure all evil spirits will be gone after the boat is burned.

TAIWAN | Sunday, 13 January 2013 | Views [1698] | View Larger Image

In a circle of three years a number of temples in Taiwan practise a old ritual where big beautiful boats are build to be burned once completed. The origin of this tradition is dating back to the 18th century when a crew less boat arrived on shore. People who discovered this boat held it for a ghost ship and filled it up with all necessities on sea and send it back to where it came from. It became a tradition to build a boat and pack it with lots of goods such as food, drink, valuables and even games for entertainment and burn it after all bad spirits of the neighbouring towns been brought on board as well. At some point in history they start to burn the ship rather than send it out to the sea because of the bad spirits such as sickness they put on board, it has been considered that the ship will get on land at some other point and will bring evil to the people there. On the first image a village leader takes a careful look that no mistakes are made during the loading and preparation of the ship. There are many rules and orders to be respected to assure all evil spirits will be gone after the boat is burned.

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