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God of War

Chinese Lunar New Year comes to a close each year in southern Taiwan with one of the World’s most dangerous folk celebrations. During the Beehive Fireworks Festival, tens of thousands of spectators and participants gather in the small town of Yanshui to fire millions of fireworks not just in the air but horizontally at the each other. Considered good fortune to be hit by the fireworks, locals don protective gear and fight to line up in front of huge racks intricately lined with bottle rockets. The tradition started in 1875 during a cholera outbreak where the people pled Guan Yu, the God of War to cleanse them. Locals paraded statues of Guan Yu and set off enormous amounts of firecrackers to drive out evil spirits causing the epidemic. When the practice seemed to work and epidemic receded, the annual tradition continued.

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