Beigang's two momentums — Lively traditions and religion
By David Hsu, Special to The China Post March 27, 2008, 12:00 am TWN
Early Beigang farmers made cooking oil from their own crops. Later, they started selling them, and quite a few of these establishments still remain today. The oil is made using the old way, which starts with laying straw at the bottom of the oil press.
Steamed sesame is then wrapped in India paper and stuffed into a thick steel ring to be cold pressed. Popular items such as sesame oil, tea oil and peanut oil are known for their superior quality and traditional flavors. The stores are well-known around the island.
Glutinous Rice Malt
There is a store that has been making malt sugar for three generations. The malt sugar features in high concentrations and can be dissolved in hot water to drink, as it is very good for the throat.
Concurrently, the Yunlin Good Gods Festival is being hold at the Beigang Sugar Refinery in Beigang Town. Foreign Good Gods and the local Matsu God are invited to the showground to bring wealth, health and luck to visitors.
There are six major pavilions in the festival, including Taiwanese Wealth Gods, Foreign Wealth Gods, Yunlin Culture, Puppet Show, Gambling Cities and Good Fortune.
In addition to these standing exhibitions, dance groups from Thailand, Japan, Tibet, Greece, India and Kenya are performing at the showground. The festival will end on April 6.
At the end of Chungshan Road, there is a newly constructed red bridge, named the Beigang Tourist Bridge, which connects the counties of Yunlin and Chiayi. It has quickly become a landmark and major attraction in Beigang.
The 450m-long and 6m-wide Nielson steel arch bridge is composed of three bridge rings. Like a giant dragon, the bridge traverses the Beigang River, allowing pedestrians and cyclists to cross.