Taiwanese Temple Traditional Act ─ 八家將 (Eight Infernal Generals)
In Taiwanese folk customs, the Eight Infernal Generals had almost 80 years history.
These pictures were the fireworks fired after the Eight Infernal Generals’s back, the explosion will hurt their body and skin, but they will endure these injure to show that they have god to protect their mortal body.
Eight Infernal Generals has it’s own special act, it calls 陣頭[chengtou], in translation folk parade, is an indispensable activity whenever there is a temple festival, and 陣頭[chengtou] is mostly the entertainment activity held for a god by disciples praying for peace or thanking the god for wishes fulfilled.
Among the different 陣頭[chengtou], the Eight Infernal Generals is a special parade with particular footsteps and colorful facial painting; it’s not just another activity to thank a god.
The Eight Infernal Generals is actually a parade with strictly observed systems and etiquettes. Usually members performing the Eight Infernal Generals parade are male disciples; the parade isn’t open to just anyone.
In the past, the Eight Infernal Generals parade had to follow all the old customs and etiquettes, their facial painting has its own and special meaning, in the picture you can see their hands hold the plate which writes Crime and Punishment, it means they can punish criminals and send them to the hell to take their rest punishment.