The Yanshui Beehive Fireworks
After Lunar New Year, Min Min and her family were gathered in the living room. They were chatting over tea. Min Min’s father suddenly asked,“Min Min, do you want to watch the Beehive Fireworks?”“What are Beehive Fireworks?”She had never heard of the term before, and asked her father curiously.
Her father turned on the computer and said,“Beehive Fireworks are a highlight of the annual Lantern Festival celebrations in Yanshui District, Tainan. Beehive Fireworks are so called because they are a huge cluster of fireworks bundled together. Once lit, all the fireworks soar into the sky at the same time, just like a swarm of bees flying out of their hive. This is why they are called Beehive Fireworks.”
Min Min’s father opened YouTube and typed the keyword “Beehive Fireworks” into the search bar. Sure enough, there were many videos on of Beehive Fireworks. Min Min’s father clicked on one of the videos, which showed a group of people wearing thick jackets and safety helmets. They were waiting to see the Beehive Fireworks. Min Min asked, “Father, why are they all covered up? Is it very cold?”Her father laughed and said, “Haha! Keep on watching, and you will know why.”
Few minutes later, the Beehive Fireworks were lit. The fireworks whistled as they streaked into the sky and burst into bright balls of light. Everyone shouted excitedly and kept dodging to avoid being hit by the fireworks. Min Min turned around and told her father,“Now I see. Those people wore thick jackets and helmets to protect themselves from the fireworks. But why do people light Beehive Fireworks?”
Min Min’s mother said,“Long ago, a plague hit Yanshui District, and many people died. No one knew what to do. One day, during the annual Lantern Festival, someone invited the mighty Holy Ruler Deity Guan to make his rounds in Yanshui to chase the plague away. Every family set off firecrackers to welcome the Holy Ruler Deity Guan as he passed by their door. After that, the plague slowly died down, and this practice became a tradition of the annual Lantern Festival celebrations at Yanshui. As time passed, people switched from lighting firecrackers to lighting Beehive Fireworks, which then evolved to become the famous Beehive Fireworks celebration.”Min Min’s eyes shone with excitement as she said,“I see! Father! Mother! I would like to see the fireworks! Please take me there!”