Taipei’s Bao'an Temple is known for exquisite craftsmanship and an exuberant festival celebrating the birthday of Emperor Baosheng, the god of medicine. Raised in the 18th century, this folk-religion temple won a UNESCO Asia-Pacific Heritage Award in 2003 for its meticulous restoration and revival of the rites of a grassroots religion.
The temple’s architecture as reflected in the roof, the main hall, and the layout is a fine example of the southern-Fujian style. The elaborate decorations are products of different periods, as you may notice by the carvings of Western-style buildings and clay figurines in dresses and suits.
The Baosheng Cultural Festival, running from April through May, features parades, free guided tours, folk operas, and free Chinese medical clinics. The festival’s flagship event is a fire-walking ritual held on the birthday of Emperor Baosheng.
Bao'an Temple is located in the Dadaocheng district, and is one of Taipei’s three great temples. The other two are Longshan Temple and the Divine Progenitors Temple, both in the Mengjia area. Dadaocheng and Mengjia are the capital’s oldest neighborhoods.