Miaoli’s Yucing Temple hosts important feast for the gods (2014/03/05)

Miaoli County’s Yucing Temple hosted the annual King’s Feast today, an important religious custom in southern Taiwan. The event included Confucian rituals, a fruit carving competition and other sacrifices to the gods. 

Under the direction of Miaoli County Deputy Commissioner Lin Chiu-hsiang, prayers and blessings were offered to the gods. Later, rows of dancers performed Confucian rituals. 

This ancient ceremony includes Confucian dance performances and sacrifices. 

Later, a sort of cooking competition was held for the benefit of the gods. 

Liu Chuan-shui
Competition Judge 
When the emperor invited officials it was called the King’s Feast. There were important ceremonies and activities to satisfy the gods.

Chefs demonstrate their carving skills by turning watermelon into the likeness of a flower, a white radish into a crane and a carrot into the shape of a dragon. They also use their ingenuity to turn lobster and crab shells into the shape of a god, which are all placed on this table.

Li Ming-chang
Instructor 
What is most important is that these lobster and crab shells are first dried then disinfected and cleaned. Afterwards, they can be arranged like this.

In the past, the King’s Feast was held in Tainan. This is the first time that Miaoli hosted the event, and every effort was made to ensure that a proper feast was presented to the gods.

苗栗宴王祭

南部盛行的宴王祭,苗栗縣政府爭取到在入選台灣宗教百景的玉清宮舉行,首次舉辦,融合了客家三獻禮的祭典風華和六佾舞,還有酬神料理比賽,果雕、牲禮,樣樣精緻不馬虎。

在主祭官副縣長林久翔的帶領下,對神明虔誠祈求,感謝護佑,還獻上六佾舞。

古禮中,六佾舞是用來祭祀宰相或諸侯的。

神明宴王宴,用六佾舞揭開序幕,還舉辦酬神料理比賽。 

[[宴王祭評審 劉川水]]
“皇帝宴請文武百官的時候,叫宴王,我們就以重大的儀式、祭典,來供養神明”

廚師們大展廚藝跟雕工,一刀一刀,都是技術的展現,西瓜雕花,白蘿蔔雕成仙鶴,紅蘿蔔細雕成龍。還發揮巧思,將龍蝦蟹殼,拼成神像,端上桌。

[[指導老師 李明璋]]
“最主要是說,這個龍蝦蟹殼一定要先曬乾,還要經過消毒、清理過,才有辦法去把它黏合”

以往在台南盛行的宴王祭,今年首度來到苗栗舉行,用八大八小的菜色,供奉神明。

 


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