Toucheng Qianggu - Grappling with the Ghost Pole-Climbing Competition
To end the seventh lunar month, or ghost month, spectators and participants gather in the town of Yilan for a huge pole-climbing competition. Teams climb, shimmy and slide their way up greased poles and bamboo to capture a flag at the top. It symbolizes 'wrestling away' ghosts or demons, in what is the Taiwanese equivalent of Halloween.
Location Yilan, Taiwan
Ami Harvest Festival
The Ami harvest festival is a chance for this indigenous group to flaunt their colorful culture to thousands of visitors. Around 40 tribes in the east of Taiwan give thanks for their (hopefully) good harvests, whilst also performing enthralling songs, dances and plays.
Location Taitung, Taiwan
Keelung Mid-Summer Ghost Festival
The 150-year-old Ghost Festival in the small Taiwan town of Keelung runs throughout the 7th lunar month, commonly known as the ghost month. Thousands of tourists stream into town to see the ornately decorated streets and houses, whilst Buddhists pray for peace, pay homage to ancestors, offer small sacrifices, and release water lanterns.
Location Keelung, Taiwan
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Also unforgettable was our experience driving through Beijing in an old fashioned motorcycle side car followed by lunch with a local family in their traditional hutong house.