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Foreign Fact Friday: Taiwan Beehive Rocket Festival

The Beehive Rocket Festival is a celebration in Yanshui, Taiwan, and is the fifth most dangerous festival in the world. It occurs on the fifteenth day of the lunar calendar each year. The festivities start with dancers dressed as local deities parading around the streets, but its major attraction is the multi-story castles around town shooting off fireworks in all directions. This causes literal explosions and fires to go off across the city districts and amongst the gathering crowds.

The festival originated due to a cholera epidemic in 1885. As the locals lacked hospitals or effective treatment for the disease, they instead prayed to Guang-gong, the local god of war. To properly show deference to him, the locals carried out the most impressive pyrotechnics display in the island’s history up to that point. Soon after this, the epidemic disappeared. Ever since they have held a firework festival in his honor every year.


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