19 Feb '11, 2am

www.Taiwan-VIP.com Taiwan festivals play new role as tourism booster: TAIPEI - On a given signal the groups of f...

TAIPEI - On a given signal the groups of four young men, each holding onto the ends of a bamboo sedan chair carrying an image of a local deity, leapt in turn into the chilly winter waters of a northern Taiwanese port. Making their way back to land they then carried the sedan chairs barefoot across a bed of burning coal in the annual"harbour cleansing" festival at the port of Yehliu, seeking the protection of the deity for fishermen and residents. The tradition began a century ago after a shipwreck in the area killed hundreds and locals took to having statues of the deity patrol the shore. But now, like many other festivals across Taiwan, it's finding a new role in a more modern day need: increasing tourism. "Today, we host this special harbour purification ritual, and combining this with our unique tourism attractions, I believe we will attract more tourists from Taiwan an...

Full article: http://www.asiaone.com/News/Latest+News/Asia/Story/A1Stor...

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