TAIPEI (Taiwan News)--Authorities of Longshan Temple (龍山寺) in Taipei City announced at a press conference on July 19 that only one incense burner will remain in the temple to be in line with creating a healthy environment for worshipers.
The temple authorities have called off the practice of burning of paper money and reduced the number of incense burners from seven to three.
Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) also attended the press conference and gave a speech, during which he expressed his gratitude to the temple for striking a balance among the preservation of traditional culture, conservation, and public health. He also looks forward to other temples joining the initiative.
Ko stressed that environmental issues are important policies for Taipei as a civilized city. This is especially true when the top cause of death is cancer, with lung cancer claiming the most victims. What is worth noting is that many victims are not smokers, showing that there are already too many PM 2.5 particles in the air.
As the mayor of the city, Ko expresses his hope that other temples in Taipei can adopt similar policies and contemplate whether paper money can be replaced by other offerings and the possibility of reducing incense burners down to only one. Doing so will definitely create a balance between preserving culture and creating a healthy environment.