Qingshan Temple

Ximending & Wanhua

Along with Longshan, this elegant temple, first built in 1856, is one of Wanhua's top houses of worship. There is an abundance of top-quality wood, stone and decorative artwork to see here, and the god's birthday festival is one of Taipei's liveliest religious events. Called the Night Patrol (夜間出巡; Yèjiān Chūxún), this parade takes place from 5pm to 9pm over two nights (the 20th and 21st days of the lunar 10th month, around the end of November or early December).

Qingshan's resident god (Qingshan Wang; 青山王) is credited with saving the people of Wanhua from a deadly plague. During the days of his birthday celebrations, he sets out on a pilgrimage to expel evil from the neighbourhood. There are fireworks, gongs, lanterns and a colourful parade of people dressed up as gods, giant Infernal Generals, and other Taoist and folk figures. What makes this pilgrimage particularly dramatic and worth attending is that it takes place at night.

The temple is worth a visit any time to examine the stonework in the main hall, the octagonal plafond ceilings (built without nails), the lively cochin pottery figures on either side of the worship hall, and the striking multicoloured jiǎnniàn (mosaic relief) work on the roof, which you can admire up-close by climbing the stairs at the back of the temple.

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