Sacrificial Pigs, God Pigs and Festivals 神豬
Today, on the sixth day of the Chinese New Year and an auspicious day for sacrifices, I will write a bit about pig sacrifices.
Pigs are a very important part of most traditional Taiwanese (including Aboriginal, see here and here) festivals. Pictured above is the hide of a giant pig, stretched and loaded on a specially decorated truck. These are called ‘god pigs’ (神豬) and are often displayed at festivals. Taiwanese festivals tend to be very competitive and the more and bigger pigs they have, the better.
This is a pig at a Pudu. Most Pudu’s have sacrificial pigs for gods and ghosts to feed on because in ancient times pigs were scarce and valuable, so the best things to offer to show sincerity and respect. At countryside festivals there are often row upon row of pigs splayed out on tables in large fields.
Incense sticks are usually stuck into the pigs in any convenient holes, usually the nostrils or mouths. The red markings presumably give information about where and when the pigs were killed. Here I can make out ‘something product’, ‘sanitary’ and ‘passed’.
The sacrifices are always eaten by people after the ghosts or gods have had their fill. This is often deduced by asking via ‘bwei.’ This pig is starting to look a bit rough, but it will surely be tasty if prepared well.
This is the full view of the god-pig sacrifice at a Tainan, Annan temple festival.
The most famous god pig display is a competition in Sanxia, Taipei in the Zushi Temple (袓師廟) on the day of Ching-Shui Grand Master ‘s (清水祖師) death, the sixth day of the first lunar month.
The most controversial is The God of Pig Competition in Hsinchu every September, but apparently banned in 2007.
Here is a list of times and places to see big pigs(I asked where you can see god pigs on a yahoo question area and someone came back with this comprehensive answer):
都有神豬, After Lidong(The year is divided into 24 sections, Li dong is the start of winter and a traditional time for temple festivals as farmers have lots of spare time) every temple holds Jianjiaow and many have God Pigs.