Legislator apologizes for Qingshan pilgrimage’s raucous celebrations

TAIPEI (The China Post) — Independent Legislator Freddy Lim (林昶佐) apologized on Monday to residents of Taipei’s Wanhua District for the disturbances caused by the Qingshan pilgrimage the previous night.

The three-day event culminated in an all-nighter celebration that continued well into the early hours of Monday morning, leading residents of the area to complain about the loud fireworks and firecrackers.

Frustrated residents flooded the “Hello Taipei 1999” hotline, and President Tsai Ing-wen, Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je and Wanhua District’s Legislator Freddy Lim all saw their Facebook pages bombarded with complaints.

Lim thus addressed the issue during a press conference on Monday announcing that Wanhua is a very historical district in Taipei, and finding a way to strike a balance between “tradition” and “modernity” is something they all want.

The Qingshan pilgrimage is a city-designated cultural asset, and it is up to everyone to work together to incorporate it into today’s society, Lim added.

He explained that the temple had attempted for years to set a schedule for its celebration, and suggested that they could make more adjustments so that they could omit past traditions of celebrating late into the night.

Lim acknowledged residents’ anger and said he had talked with other government agencies regarding the problem but was not able to resolve the situation in a timely manner.

Lim added that the temple had suggested replacing firecrackers with blessed food for those attending the celebrations prior to the beginning of the pilgrimage, but it was ultimately ignored.

He expressed hope that everyone can cooperate more in the future and help the temple make relative transformations and changes.