A friend of mine lived in Sanxia and heard about a famous pig festival during Chinese New Year. Upon further research, this festival is often protested by western groups who see it is inhumane. Aside from the politics of westerners judging an eastern religion’s rites, we figured why not go and check it out anyways. It was a pretty gloomy day with the typical rainy weather that is always found on Chinese New Year.
The festival honors the gods with sacrifices of pigs. This Qing holiday encourages big pigs, as larger pigs are seen to be better for the gods. Activists say herders overfeed pigs metals and such to make them fatter. NOTE: The pig meat is all sold at as “holy pork”, so unless humans are able to digest heavy metals, I would say these activists may be wrong. The pigs are then “blown up” with air and paraded around the city. The only thing that is “blown up” is the pig skin using air.
I would say it is worth checking out if you live in Taiwan. It has a deep tradition and everyone comes with a nice and festive spirit.
More Info: Blog on the Festival