During every Lantern Festival, Yehliu's unique purifying ritual attracts large numbers of visitors. To appreciate the gods for their kindness, disciples hold a purifying ritual including patrolling and purifying the ocean, purifying the harbor, and carrying the gods over hot coal on the 15th day of the first lunar month every year.
The gods that go on an “inspection tour” include Kai Zhang Shang Wang (Sacred King – posthumous title of General Chen Yuan-guang), the goddess of the sea─Matsu, General Zhou Cang, and the Land God. Amidst a bustling atmosphere and shouts, strong men carry the god palanquins and jump into the harbor, praying that they will bring back a good catch when they go out to sea and also return safely.
Then, the palanquin bearers walk over hot coal in bare feet three times led by the gods; amidst the deafening sound of drums, the gods are carried around the village as people are praying. This harbor purifying activity is unique to Yehliu.