The Wind Lion God風獅爺
The "Wind Lion God" has other names such as "Wind Lion," "Stone Lion God," or "Stone Lion Lord," and so on. During the end of the Ming dynasty and the beginning of the Ching dynasty, the people of Kinmen suffered much wind damage. In order to protect themselves from the wind and get rid of(1) the evil spirits, people erected(2) Wind Lion Gods in front of temples or at their village entrances as their angel guards. Hence the Wind Lion God was believed to be a protector of Kinmen.
The Wind Lion God was given its shape to represent a ferocious(3) lion hopefully to suppress(4) strong winds and ward off(5) demons. In Kinmen, Wind Lion Gods can be classified into two varieties. One is those standing at the village entrances, called "Village Wind Lion Gods;" the other is those standing on the rooftop, called "Roof Wind Lion Gods". Both have the same function of preventing strong winds and disasters, but they just vary in shape and material, generally from clay to stone sculptures. Their postures(6) and facial expressions vary, too. Some are lying or sitting, and others standing. Some are laughing, while others have a terrifying appearance. Accordingly they can be put into three groups, namely, "Literary(7) Wind Lions," "Military Wind Lions," "Fortune Wind Lions."
The 12th Day of the Fourth Lunar Month-Celebrating Chenghuang Lord's Birthday
In celebration of the 12th day of the fourth lunar month when the Garrison Command of ancient Kinmen was transferred to downtown "Houpu" (nowadays called "Jincheng"), the people of Kinmen designated this day as Chenghuang Lord's birthday. Thus, this day of greetings is always accompanied by the "Lord's patrols," and has become the biggest religious feast in Kinmen. The Lord's patrols are divided into a "Grand Patrol" and a "Minor Patrol". The Grand Patrol is a parade that takes place once in every leap year,(8) while the Minor Patrol is held once a year. The former involves taking the idol on a tour of 13 suburban villages around Jincheng and all of downtown Jincheng, but the latter is a parade just around downtown Jincheng. Normally the Lord's patrols are accompanied by a parade of lion dance teams, gong and drum teams, and martial arts performances, etc., all highlighting the happiness of the celebration. Worshippers and pilgrims with burning incense sticks just follow the parade and crowd the streets. Along the streets sacrifices are offered to the idol by every household. At night, they also invite friends and relatives to join their festival parties.
■1. get rid of-擺脫。
■5. ward off-避開。ward通常當名詞用，指病房、牢房，或保護、護衛。此處作為動詞，指「避開」。
■8. leap year-閏年。