Taiwan Taoist goddess culture festival to be held in Taipei


TAIPEI, Taiwan — To revive folk belief and to promote religious exchanges between Taoist temples in northern Taiwan, Taipei City will hold a procession featuring a statue of the Taoist goddess Matsu during a festival this month, the city’s civil affairs department said yesterday.

The annual event will be held this year from Sept. 6-16 to mark the 120th anniversary of the founding of the former Taipei Tien-hou Temple, Huang Lu Ching-ju, the department’s commissioner told a news conference.

The temple, which was originally founded in 1888 under the reign of Liu Ming-chuan, the first governor of Taiwan during the Qing Dynasty, was located at the current site of the National Taiwan Museum.

It was dismantled in 1907 under Japanese colonial rule, and the statue of Matsu was moved to a temple in Taipei County. It has been worshipped there since then.

During the procession, which will be held on the evening of Sept. 6, the statue of Matsu will be on parade from Taipei’s Nangang district to the Taiwan Museum near the 228 Memorial Park for a three-day display, said Huang Lu, who has two surnames.

She invited people to come to worship the goddess. “Through the inter-city festival, co-organized by 17 temples in Northern Taiwan, we hope to revive folk belief and help citizens understand Taiwan’s traditions and religious assets,” said Huang Lu.

Religious ceremonies and exhibitions of Matsu’s history and photos will be held during the festival, she said.

Matsu is widely worshipped in Taiwan and other Asian countries. She is believed to be the patron of fishermen and sailors.