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Fisheries Culture

Launching ceremony of a deep sea fishing boat built by Jong Shyn Shipbuilding in the early times

Fisheries Culture
  For hundreds of years, the fisheries in Taiwan has experienced both bitterness  and prosperity from the policy of banning maritime trade in the Ming and Qing   Dynasties and the heavy fisheries taxes in the Kingdom of Tungning & the Dutch colonial period  to the modernized fisheries in Japanese colonial period and the local development after Retrocession. At the same time when we enjoy delicious seafood, we should appreciate the hard working fishermen and not ignore the importance of fishing boats.

Keel - the spine of boat
  When building a boat, keel is also the first part to be constructed because it is the most important part of the hull. It can keeps the ship remain on the main course when blown by winds, and holds the balance of the boat. Laying the keel is a momentous event during a ship's construction and it often marked with a ceremony, the boat owners and investors will select an auspicious day to hold a grand keel laying ceremony in order to pray for a safe and smooth building.

New boat launching ceremonies
  In the old days of  fishing village in Taiwan, when the construction of the new boat was finished and ready for launch, the relatives and friends of the boat owner would customize fish banners to congratulate the owner, and the whole village would bustle with excitement at the celebration ceremony.
  However, making a fish banner is not easy, one must make a sketch on a white cloth first then apply "the method for using sticky rice paste to prevent dyeing". In which you have to prepare water, sticky rice, rice bran and lime then knead and filter them into paste. Pouring the paste into pastry bag then squeeze it onto the text which doesn't need to be dyed. After one or two days when the paste is solidified, one can dye the banner and finally remove the paste on the banner. The colorful banner is finished. With such sophisticated work, it takes about 3 days to make a banner and symbolizing the eager wish for a rich haul.

Throwing buns
  The other traditional fishing boat launching ceremony in Taiwan is very interesting. The boat owners will set off firecrackers for the new boats and when the auspicious time arrives, the boat owners and his crew members will stand on the bow, and throw buns, mochis, candies, fortune biscuits, etc. to the people who gathering at the dock.  In traditional Chinese custom, it is believed that if more people gathered at the dock scramble for mochis, buns, fortune biscuits and candies symbolize that there will be a lot of fishes come to eat baits and give fishermen a rich haul.

Worshiping ceremony held by Kaohsiung Shipyard, Cijin before a new boat was launched in 1973 A.D.
In the early times, when a new boat was finished and launched, hundreds of big fish flags were hung on the brand-new boat, symbolizing coming home honorably, loaded with honors, money, etc.