Dalongdong Bao'an Temple
Originally constructed in 1742 as a wooden shrine, the Bao'an Temple is a Taiwanese folk religion temple. Throughout Taiwan's history, the temple was renovated and reconstructed numerous times, leading to a 2003 induction into UNESCO for cultural heritage conservation.
Dedicated to the Taoist saint Baosheng Dadi (保生大帝), the 900 SQ METRE large temple faces south, in line with Feng-Shui practices, and houses the front, main, and rear halls, along with the east and west halls. The buildings also run from tallest to shortest in that order, in observance of Confucian principles. The temple also houses a drum tower.
Important architectural elements around the temple grounds include stone carvings, stone lions, dragon columns, stone bamboo windows, and wood, stone, and clay carvings.
Nearby the doors of the temple are large images of gods protecting the gates. Large coloured murals also are displayed throughout the grounds.
Bao'an Temple is especially well-known for the Baosheng Cultural Festival (held on the 14th day of the 3rd moon as that is the eve of the Baosheng Emperor’s birthday), where participants and locals march in a parade to worship agricultural gods and perform cultural activities such as the renowned fire-walking ritual. The parade tours around the Dalongdong and Dadaocheng (大稻埕)historic neighbourhoods for the greater part of the day, welcomed by firecrackers during the entire route. Upon returning back to Bao'an Temple, festivities continue with lion dance shows and numerous cultural presentations such as Taiwanese traditional folk opera, puppet shows, and ancient Chinese wind instrument performances.