The Kaohsiung Zuoying Wannian Folklore Festival, which began in 2001, is held each year in mid-October on the banks of the Zuoying Lotus Pond. Using the Lotus Pond and the many temples that surround it as a unique backdrop, this festival combines the special folk custom of the “cannon siege” and the “fire lion” to bring back the days of Zheng Chenggong during the Ming dynasty so that people get an appreciation of the opening of Taiwan by their ancestors. The Festival is a major cultural event in which historical culture and personages are intertwined with religious ceremony. The event is deeply tied to local history and every year attracts crowds of onlookers. It has become an important folkloric tourist festival for Kaohsiung and in 2005 was designated an important city event by the Kaohsiung City Government. The most characteristic event is probably that of “welcoming the Fire Lion,” which takes place at the Cih Ji Palace. The forerunner of the Fire Lion was the Life Guardian’s (life-protecting god) saddle horse, the “Black Tiger General.” In order to celebrate the birth of the Life Guardian, people created the Fire Lion religious ceremony. The Fire Lion’s body is a framework made of bamboo branches and bound up with all kinds of “cannon” (fireworks), the lion’s head is made of pasted paper and when the cannon are set off it creates a tremendous excitement. Tradition has it that all you have to do is write your wishes on a slip of paper and have it burned up along with the Fire Lion and he will take everybody’s wishes up to Heaven, not only bringing himself good fortune, but also making all the wishes come true.