THE Nine Emperor Gods festival is celebrated for nine days by Taoist devotees, beginning on the eve of the ninth lunar month of the Chinese calendar.
Devotees traditionally dress in white and carry candles during a procession from temples to rivers or seashores as a symbolic gesture of inviting gods to the temples through waterways.
Hundreds of devotees, including priests, chariots, and cultural groups, were part of this year’s procession, after a two-year hiatus due to the Covid-19 restrictions.
During the festival, devotees adhere to a vegetarian diet, maintain celibacy, and avoid alcohol consumption to preserve their purity.
The festival marks devotees’ dedication to the nine sons of Tou Mu, the goddess of the North Star, who is believed to control the afterlife. Her sons, deified as ren huang (human sovereigns), are said to have the ability to cure illnesses and bless devotees with wealth and prosperity. – October 5, 2022.