A red-golden mask used for a Chinese Lion Dance. In the glass pane underneath, a reflections shows me taking the photo.

Eye to eye

This photo ends our visit to Bangka Qingshan Temple (艋舺青山宮) and the rituals of Ghost Month. It shows a mask for the traditional Lion Dance, another Chinese tradition usually performed during Chinese New Year and a story for another time.

I liked to see the masks being set aside and honored like this. It both shows the mundaneness of religion, shamans and priests have to eat and pay their taxes too, and the utensils for their rituals and magic also need a place to be stored. At the same time, it felt like some of the magic was still stored in them. Like the items from a magicians suitcase that still secretly glow from the joy and wonder they provoked.

Ghost Month is still not over, mind you! So be mindful about what you do!

If you want, you can revisit these and other photos here. I also highly recommend A Broad And Ample road, a newsletter by two friends of mine who these weeks wrote a feature on the more scientific background of Ghost Week.

Enjoy your weekend. I’ll share some side notes next week, together with some shorter and completely different stories.

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