The feast of Zhongyuan Ceremony is to offer foods to the deceased, sharing the kindness to the world. As one of the most important events, Zhongyuan Ceremony is held by each village alternately. Beitou Village in 2005, for example, was in charge of the feast of Zhongyuan Ceremony. During the zi hour (11pm to 1am) of every fifteenth day of the seventh lunar month at Guandu Temple, a ritual of ‘sending the documents’ is conducted. The religious specialist in charge of this ritual will present a document to deities of the Three Realms and officially conduct offering rituals of Zhongyuan (Middle Primordial). During the early morning, a ritual known as ‘Compassionate Samadhi Water Penance’ is conducted, followed by guiding the soul vessels to engage in salvation of the water souls. This is to allow passing souls who died of water-related mishaps to leave the water realm and through the Taoist ritual, they can be reincarnated.
The neighborhoods on duty are enthusiastic about the ceremony. One of the important things is ‘sacrificing god pigs’: more god pigs are sacrificed in a village, more dignity the village wins. In 2003, Guandu Village, the area around Guandu (including Guandu, Zhuwei and so on), was in charge of the feast of Zhongyuan Ceremony. 37 god pigs were provided in that year; it was impressive to see those all pigs were put in a line in front of ‘Heavenly Stage’.
Every year from the first day to third day of the seventh lunar month, Guandu Temple will organize a three-day ‘Service the host and protect the spirits salvation Yulan Bowl Ritual’ where offerings are sacrificed to the deceased spirits at Guangdu Temple, or the deceased relatives of worshippers who have registered to participate in the chanting and salvation ritual. Seven ritual specialists are invited to conduct this solemn ritual. Through the merits of presenting offerings to the realms of ten directions, this is transferred to ancestors and engaged in the salvation of the purgatory. There is also salvation for suffering souls and karmic creditors, guiding deceased souls to a place far from suffering and leave the path of evil.