Da Nian Chu Yi : Meal, Night market, temple and fireworks in Taichung.

The third day of Chinese New Year, we headed south to visit Hsiao-Ching extended family in Taichung’s countryside. In short, we had another meal, went to the temple and spent hours in the night market in Daija.

Food marathon

It was pretty much a remake of last Friday’s meal, with more surprises as more people were attending. The cook was apparently selling pork on the market, so we had pork crepes with sweet sauce & green onions on the table. One extremely weird thing as a Belgian is how they drink their beer. A full crate of Asahi was at our disposal. They gave us tiny cups filled with ice we could pour the beer on. As I was brining Duvel (Belgian beer) to our hosts, I was afraid they would do the same with it. We also had a tea ritual, with a portable kettle box on wheels. Each cup had to be cleaned with hot water in order to be filled. Delicious.

While the youngsters were playing mahjong in the adjacent room, I had the visit of our host’s friend who insisted to drink more Asahi with me. I was honoured and finished up two bottles.

Eastern Taoist approach

After this, we drove to Daija to go to the Jenn Lann temple. It was crowded, but my guide Hsiao-Ching helped me understand all the different rituals we had to do for good fortune. We first got burning sticks, then a token with a message inside that protects you from ghosts. We then asked questions and dropped wood blocks that would provide an answer. I didn’t get the whole thing but a temple is not comparable with a church at all. It’s noisy and there are a lot of food on the tables. It was a delightful experience.

When exiting the temple, it was already dusk. Food, games and lights were all over the place. I had a few snacks, I caught fishes with a net, played funfair games and brought premium pastries back. We head back to the house for more food and lit up dozens of fireworks.

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