Masks of deities go viral online

Taichung,  Photos of five men dressed as deities worshipped at a temple in Taichung, complete with colorful facial makeup denoting which deities they were representing and face masks matching their makeup, have gone viral online.

The photos sparked enthusiastic comments about the face masks the deity actors were wearing to observe COVID-19 quarantine protocols.

The “five holy generals” from the Zhong Dou Yuan Shuai Dian will lead a religious procession organized by the temple that is scheduled to set off on Saturday on a tour of Tainan.

To observe tightened quarantine protocols following the report of the first domestic case of COVID-19 infection since April, the temple prepared face masks for the five leading deities of the procession.

To match the Chinese opera makeup on their faces, identical images of the makeup were painted on each of the masks, which then became a big hit after the temple’s manger, Lin Po-chin (林伯駸), posted the photos of the five deities on the temple’s Facebook page on Monday.

They have since drawn many “likes” and comments such as “super-pretty face masks,” “very creative and safe,” and “they should be produced in bulk.”

Lin said that as wearing masks is necessary under the government’s quarantine control policy, the temple had to come up with a way to make sure the protocol did not go against traditional religious taboos.

They therefore decided to paint the masks to be worn by the deity actors to match their colorful face paint, Lin said, adding that it took 12 hours to create the paintings.

The actors playing the parts of the holy generals will also wear a surgical mask inside their painted mask and will keep a safe distance from other followers during the procession, so that “quarantine controls can co-exist with the preservation of traditional culture,” Lin said.


Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel

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