Tourist Season & Lion Dances

I pull up to the third battery box I’ve visited in the last 10 minutes. Ugh. Another one empty. I wasn’t prepared for all the tourists (mainly from China) that flood into Kinmen this time of year… I just wish that they didn’t all rent electric scooters like mine!

This month is packed with celebrations for city gods, festivals and different competitions.

Lion Dances

The Lion Dances were this past weekend and a huge competition was held featuring Taiwan, Hong Kong, China, Singapore, Malaysia and others. This took place in our local gymnasium (where my friends and I work out) and we got to watch the performances for free. I can’t describe them well enough to do them justice, so I’m posting videos below for you to see. Two people are in the lion costume and their dance is choreographed with many different moves and challenging stunts – incredibly athletic! Check out the second video especially!

A snapshot of the stage…

IMG_4155 (2)

Wheat and Oyster Festival

Last week, several of my roommates, my co-teacher Jimmy and a couple of our other friends went to the Wheat and Oyster Festival. Wheat is especially important to Kinmen because it is used to produce Koaling Liquor – Kinmen’s main revenue stream.

Oysters are also a big part of the culture as they are easy to harvest on the beaches. A competition is held every year to see who can shuck the most oysters. Those who participate get to keep the oysters they have shucked.

Many of the festivities were cancelled due to bad weather, but we stopped by the festival and watched some of the different workshops (like learning how to make a traditional cake) and enjoying some of the local cuisine featuring squid, chicken hearts and dan bing (my favorite… thin tortilla with onion, egg and cheese topped off with a special sauce).

(Thanks to Ammi Montiel for the video below…!)

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