Temple fair draws huge crowds

A child in the piu sik parade.

A lion dance performance.

A young man dresses as an ancient Chinese official.

A statue of Xuanwu is carried on a sedan chair during the procession.

Two men carry a huge gong in the parade.

The front gate of the North Deity Ancient Temple.

Girls dressed in Han Dynasty outfits.

Incense is burned to honor Xuanwu.

Children in traditional outfits during a ceremony to celebrate Xuanwu’s birthday.

Excited onlookers take photos of the piu sik parade. Photos by Laoyouyou

A temple fair that lasted until April 3 in Xixiang, Bao’an District attracted huge crowds. The nine-day event featured traditional shows like lion, dragon and phoenix dances as well as piu sik (floating colors) parades, where young children, dressed as traditional deities, balanced on poles.

North Deity Ancient Temple in Xixiang, first built in 1573, was dedicated to the Taoist deity Xuanwu who, according to legends, rules over rivers and seas. In the traditional fishing village, which Xixiang was for a long time, the temple has long attracted many believers who would pray for safe voyages and good luck for themselves and their families. Ceremonies have been held annually to celebrate the birthday of Xuanwu, which falls on the third day of the third lunar month.

This year’s celebrations started March 25, five days before the big day. The highlight of this year’s event was a piu sik team invited from Wuchuan in Guangdong’s southwest. Children were dressed as fictional figures such as Wu Song (from the novel “Water Margin”) and Avalokitesvara.

The organizers also presented puppet shows and Cantonese opera performances in Xixiang Park and the plaza outside the temple.




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