Saturday, March 21, 2015

Bok Kai Temple

After lunch we took advantage of the holiday to tour the Bok Kai temple. It turns out there are lot of Chinese Americans who come to worship after the parade.

This is when the celebration began to resemble a Japanese festival. Fireworks, incense and wind chimes were being sold. Whole roasted pigs and fruit carried in and out of the temple, and lots of families eating on the grass outside of the temple.

We lined up - and it was a long line. Eventually, a gal came by and asked us if we were worshippers. She had us go in a different door and stand by the far wall to get the line moving for those who had come to worship. It was a good plan but ended up in letting us non-worshippers cut to the front of the line. I'm not sure that was the plan.

This building was dedicated in Dec 1880. I loved getting in to see it.

The worship reminded us of the worship we observed in Shinto temples. Rattles, incense, gifts for the gods....
This food seemed to be offered here and then ate outside

Scrolls were purchased and then thrown into the fire.....I wondered if they were like the prayers we'd seen burned at the Shinto temple.
Lots of fireworks

We have enjoyed a lazy afternoon. We slept. Arielle went out to babysit for a few hours. We had leftovers for dinner. I discovered I'm out of key ingredients for my planned potluck offerings tomorrow. Michael is reading Magician's Nephew to the kids.  I'm caught up with the blog. A new week can begin.

Bok Kai Parade

The Bok Kai parade began back in the 1850's. It is always held on the weekend closest to the second day of the second month of the Lunar calendar. It is the longest continually held parade in California. The parade honors Bok Eye, the Chinese Water God, who is said to protect Marysville from flooding.  This is our last year to be here this time of year and so we went.  It was quite apparent most do not know or understand the religious background of the parade.

D Street in Marysville, CA

Waiting....Zander, Stacia, Nolan and Arielle

Playing Tic Tac Toe with the nuts

Finally - the start!

It wasn't a bad parade - but it wasn't a Japanese festival either.  Here are a few overheard comments:

"In Japan there is music during parades."

"This parade is mostly pick up trucks with signs."

"Lots of marching bands and Tae Kwon Do...."

That would about sum it up - lots of old cars and prunes. Yes, PRUNES. Poor Stacia. Each treat she retrieved turned out to be plums/prunes in some form.  This is Sunsweet country. LOL

We did love the old cars....

One of the marching bands

One of the Tae Kwon Do schools
 One other observation - dysfunctional families may be funny on television but they aren't funny at all in real life. I felt sorry for the kids sitting next to us.  And then the finale! Team Beale operates the Bok Kai dragon.

We headed to find festival food for lunch....there weren't a ton of options. We should have brought lunch. We were happy to find a touch of shade. I had garlic fries, Arielle had shaved ice and the rest enjoyed chicken and strips.