表頭_2400x1300_工作區域 1 複本
表頭_2400x1300_工作區域 1
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The God of Drama for Thousand Years: Tiandu Yuanshuai




There were many stories about Tiandu Yuanshuai in Taiwan. Some people called him Tian Xianggong, Tian Yuanshuai, or Xianggong Ye. The story that most accepted was that he was born in the Tang Dynasty, and his name was Lei Haiqing. His mother dreamt of the ‘Yixiu xingjun’ and got pregnant. It was a shameful thing for a girl to be pregnant before she was married. This poor mother had to abandon her baby on the small road in the rice field, with the hope that some nice people would find him and adopt him.


When the baby was hungry, he started crying. His cry stirred the crabs in the field. They climbed to the road and saw this little baby. They took pity on him and took turns to feed him with the bubbles produced from their mouths.
Ah-wen said loudly, “That’s why Tiandu Yuanshuai had crab painted on his forehead. He could not forget the favor of those crabs feeding him.”
Grandma nodded, “You are so right, Ah-Wen! That’s why all the troupes that enshrine Tiandu Yuanshuai consider eating crabs the biggest taboo.”


One thought came to his mind: he ordered the soldiers to make puppets with the animal skins and put up a show on top of the city wall. When the enemies were fascinated by the show, he struck back and won.
This was the origin of puppet show. Some of the paintings on the walls of the temples that enshrined Tiandu Yuanshuai would paint him dressed in military uniform.


Later, Tiandu Yuanshuai died on the battlefield. Tang Xuanzong escaped with his royal family and a small group of army to Sichuan. Even though Tiandu Yuanshuai had died, he still worried about the safety of the emperor. his spirit was still protecting the emperor. Every time before his spirit showed up, there would always be cloud and mist. The thick fog covered the upper part of his banner that had his last name ‘Lei’ on, and only the lower part ‘Tian’ could be seen. Therefore, the emperor thought his last name was Tian and granted him as Tiandu Yuanshuai.


Ah-Wen couldn’t help to ask grandma, “Are there other temples in Taoyuan area that enshrine Tiandu Yuanshuai?”
“Of course, silly boy! There are over 200 temples enshrining Tiandu Yuanshuai in Taiwan. Take Tiande Temple in Zhongli for example, the 1st day of the 10th month of the lunar calendar each year is the most exciting and lively time at this temple. There would be troupes from all places, nanguan and beiguan, lion dance groups from local schools, dragon dance group and drummer team all gather there to celebrate the birthday of Tiandu Yuanshuai.