The Last Supper (Taiwan version)

Ancient tales said that Taiwanese liked to pray to the Gods and ghosts were even included, lots of celebrations were held during the winter season. There were a series of winter festivals by that time, and almost everyone was involved. According to the tale, there was a lantern monkey which was there with Gods and held candles for people. Most Taiwanese were busy for the winter festive and therefore neglected the monkey. The monkey was angry and told to the God emperor that Taiwanese did not cherish the foods and even played with them without appreciation. The God emperor was furious and announced that the island was soon to sink.

Every God was astonished to know the announcement from the God emperor, but the emperor had made his mind so no one could say anything. By the end of year, everyone was preparing meals for the earth God to thank his protection for a whole year. The earth God was sad and told to mortals that we were going to die so we could prepare everything. In the meanwhile, the earth God also asked help from another god to beg to the emperor for us.

Taiwanese did not want other Gods to be punished so we held a ceremony to farewell all the Gods back to heaven. Gods were pitiful to mankind, so they sent soldiers from the heaven to help us get through the crisis. The God emperor was touched by the behaviors of mankind and persuasions from other Gods not to destroy Taiwanese. After canceling the death summon by the emperor, the island was saved. However, none of humans knew the final decision. People were still preparing meats to eat and fluids to drink, and even spared money with their family, so we could use afterlife. Everyone was there to hold the breath for the last second with the knowledge that it was our last meal.

Surprisingly the island did not sink, and everyone was alive in the next morning. Therefore, many people thanked Gods at the temple and burned the incenses. People also went out to visit neighbors or friends to check if they were safe. It has become one of our customs ever since then for the first day of year. For the next day, married woman went back parents’ home to see if her relatives were still alive. On the forth day, people pleased to Gods to come back to our island to protect us. On the fifth day, people got back to work like normal days. And these tales were the foundation of our current new year celebration.

The ancient tale was recorded in 1963. Photo credit:
The common dishes for New Year celebration now. Photo credit:

The tales were revised for many times, but the whole plot was about the monkey and the island sinking event which are the natural things in Taiwan. Hope people could enjoy our ancient tales and share to others.

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