Monday, April 28, 2008

Happy Birthday, Matzu!

Every now and then there is a parade that involves a few big idols and lots of drums and firecrackers. After the last one (an hour long right outside the window while I was teaching- well, I was on the 4th floor but still) I found out that they are either for one of the gods' birthdays, or, for the temple goddess for the big temple in Fong Yuan, to welcome her back after she goes visiting her friends in their temples.

Today on the way to work I noticed a bunch of bai-bai tables- I think I have written about them before, people put a card table in front of their house with a bowl of nice fruit, some incense, sometimes some other food.

During my 2:00 class (the English-speaking first-graders) a huge parade started up. Big drums and those whiny atonal Chinese flutes. (I know, I know, atonal to me- "hao ting" to Chinese people.) My drilling of Are there any (countable nouns)/ Is there any (uncountable noun) just couldn't compete, so I figured we could look out the window and watch the parade and learn some new English.

It was pretty cool. It was for the birthday of Matzu- as my kids said, "The strong big god." There were lots of statues of him, some floats, guys on stilts, a few horses (which literally made the kids clap their hands in delight), and of course lots of firecrackers. Also a dragon dance. It went on forever- about 45 minutes. I made them do work sometimes but if it got good again I let them watch.

I asked them about the bai-bai tables and one girl said, "It's so he can have a snack." Hee hee.

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