Taiwan // South Taiwan //

Yanshui beehive fireworks


An otherwise sleepy town, a short drive inland from Nankunshen, YANSHUI (鹽水 (yánshuǐ) attracts thousands to its annual firework festival (鹽水蜂炮; yánshuǐ fēngpào), one of Taiwan’s most famous. What makes this pyrotechnic display unique is that the fireworks – lodged in over two hundred walls or “beehives” the size of a truck – are fired horizontally into the crowds creating a cacophony of noise, fire and smoke throughout the night. Protective gear is essential if you want to participate but note that the crowds can be suffocating: around 300,000 people attend. The tradition began in 1885 when locals paraded an image of Guan Di around the town to ward off a cholera epidemic; their prayers were answered only after shooting off a ton of fireworks to “wake” the god. Each year during the Lantern Festival, usually in February, Guan Di is once again paraded around the town before the fiery climax.

Read More

Travel Offers

20% off ebooks

Subscribe to the Rough Guides newsletter and get 20% off any ebook.

Join over 50,000 subscribers and get travel tips, competitions and more every month.