Traditions in Keelung

Keelung Night Parade​

The Keelung Night Parade takes place two weeks after the end of the Ghost Month. The parade roams through the entire Keelung City, starting from Chenghuang Temple, strolls through the Keelung Night Market and meanders the streets of the city center as it slowly makes its way into the suburbs. Beginning in the evening, huge dancing figures took over the streets of Keelung and melodies from trumpets and drums from Beiguan musicians could be heard from afar. Theatrical plays, concerts, and film screenings that are purposely organized for the spirits can also be seen on the street. Moreover, people would go on the streets to burn incense and offer food and drinks to the spirits. It is believed that the parade appeases the ghosts and sends them back to the underworld. The locals would bring their families to join the parade as they believed that by joining the parade, they will be blessed and get rid of bad luck. It is definitely worth participating in the Keelung Night Parade to have a unique experience while traveling in Taiwan as you can observe the local culture and rituals up close.

God figure
A Beiguan musician playing the trumpet
Keelung Mid-Summer Ghost Festival

Keelung Mid-Summer Ghost Festival is the biggest and most significant festival for the locals. It happens on the seventh month of the lunar calendar and lasts for the entire month. Originating a century and a half ago, the festival symbolizes unity and peace to the locals as it reconciled feuding clans in the infamous historical event in 1855, “Zhengzhou’s-Quanzhou Conflict”. Being the first festival to be registered as intangible cultural heritage in Taiwan, Keelung Mid-Summer Ghost Festival has lots to see! Different rituals are carried out each day such as offering ceremonies, parades, folk performances and sacrificial rituals for the spirits. Each ritual has historical and folk significance, and over the last few years, cultural and artistic elements have been integrated into this festival, adding some modernity to this tradition. Without doubt, participating in the Keelung Mid-Summer Ghost Festival is the best way to learn the history, culture and people of Keelung. Perhaps you will form a deeper connection with Keelung by taking part in this festival and see the city from a different lens. Read further on the Keelung Mid-Summer Ghost Festival here.