The 18 Coquettish Women Pilgrimage Procession, a Beautiful Legend of Sinhua
Sinhua District was originally called "Damujiang" and was a settlement of Siraya Tribe. Damujiang is the pronunciation of "land of mountains and woods" in the language of Pingpu Tribe. During the Japanese occupation period, this place was set to be the location of County Hall so that Damujiang was renamed "Sinhua." At that time, Sinhua enjoyed its significant political and military position.
(Photo from:Tourism Bureau of Tainan City Government)
The Japanese occupation period was the time that Sinhua played a pivotal role in the social, economic and political development of Tainan. Sinhua governed nine street villages inside the county. When city streets redistricting scheme was being implemented, luxurious baroque-styled buildings were successively constructed and matching well with the commercial prosperity of Sinhua at that time. Today, Sinhua Historical Street still preserves the complete form of the gorgeous Baroque-styled townhouses, just like those old buildings preserved well in Dasi and Cishan. During the same period, there appeared an important celebrity "Yang Kui" in Sinhua. Under the Japanese suppressive military governance, Yang Kui, a litterateur with independent thinking, had a high expectation for himself -- to change the society and spend his life on fulfilling this important mission. Now next to the County Hall, there was the "Yang Kui Memorial Hall," which not only shows us the look of the old building but also reminds us to remember the cost paid for today's freedom.
Although Sinhua was not located at the center of Tainan Prefectural City, it enjoyed the advantage of being at the hub between the mountain and the plain, making it a trading center of commodities at the villages remotest from the downtown. After a marketplace was developed, there appeared "36 Kiosks of Market District." These kiosks successively appeared around an old well, thus solving the necessity of eating for businessmen and those residents who came here to buy daily articles. Later, a big fire forced most of the kiosks to move out of this site, but local residents still called the county district "36 Kiosks" as they expected to resume the prosperity of those years.
In the Qing Dynasty, legend had it that on the 16th day of the first month in the lunar calendar, an earthquake happened. Unfortunately, the earthquake wakened the spider monster, which then started to make troubles and even created more severe disasters on the 18th day of the first lunar month. In order to repress the spider monster, seven-star bagua battle plan was used. From then on, it became a celebration event of Lantern Festival on the 15th day of the first month every lunar year. However, according to the historical records, because of the ancient concept of male superiority and female inferiority, this legend just appeared to deliberately lower the status of women. That was why the event was called The 18 "Coquettish" Women Pilgrimage Procession. But presently, the "18 Coquettish Women" had been redefined differently as beautiful, enchanting women. In other words, "The 18 Coquettish Women Pilgrimage Procession" had become an alternative legend of beauties creatively developed in Sinhua!
Before the Chinese New Year, New Year Products Promotion Event is held on Sinhua Old Street. Subsequently in Lantern Festival, there are official activities of the parade of Seven-star gods and pilgrimage procession, bringing good luck to Sinhua at the beginning of a year, and gathering people's hearts in Sinhua Business District. In recent years, many cultural and creative temple products have been developed. There are cricket images hidden among the streets, arousing people's memories of their childhood in the countryside. Walking on Sinhua Street, you will discover a lot of surprises and legends!