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Into the FireworksTaiwanese people are quite fond of fireworks, but there is a Taiwanese festival that takes this affinity to the extreme.
The Yenshui Fireworks Festival (also called Beehive Festival) is held annually on the 15th day of the first month of the lunar year in Yenshui township. The festival commemorates the end of a 17th century cholera plague wherein fireworks were said to have been set off in an attempt to scare away ghosts responsible for the illnesses.
During the (dangerous) festival, vehicles carrying a Chinese god of war are paraded through the streets from temple to temple. In the streets sit giant hives containing up to 60,000 fireworks each. At a designated time, the hives are set off and the fireworks sent into crowds of people who are (hopefully) covered in full protective gear. People then jump up and down in an attempt to stop fireworks from lodging in their clothing.
Aside from being dangerous for obvious reasons, participants also have to protect themselves from inhaling too much of the smoky fumes.