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Progression of Dajia Matsu pilgrimage procession delayed

Progression of Dajia Matsu pilgrimage procession delayed
Progression of Dajia Matsu pilgrimage procession delayed
Progression of Dajia Matsu pilgrimage procession delayed
Progression of Dajia Matsu pilgrimage procession delayed

Progression of Dajia Matsu pilgrimage delayed

Devotees’ enthusiastic acts have seriously delayed the progression of the Dajia Matsu Pilgrimage Procession, which is hailed as one of the world’s three largest religious activities and included in the UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage list.

The procession started a nine-day, eight-night and 330km “inspection tour” on Friday night at the Jenn Lann Temple in Dajia District, Taichung City, where Dajia Matsu is enshrined.

Along the tour three statues of Matsu, the Chinese Goddess of the Sea, carried in a palanquin on bearers’ shoulders, along with her devoted followers, will visit 110 temples. Dajia Matsu is scheduled to come back to the Jenn Lann Temple on April 17 at the end of the tour.

The procession entered Changhua County from Taichung City on Saturday afternoon to huge crowds of cheerful believers who packed the streets.

Before the arrival of the procession, many enterprises and businesses in the county had set up tents along the route to provide the followers with free vegetarian foods and places to rest.

Enthusiastic devotees were seen lining up to “scramble under the palanquin,” in which they prostrate themselves while the palanquin of the goddess moves over them as a means of praying for good fortune.

Performing the ritual to everyone seeking good fortune as well as the pushes and shoves by believers and onlookers have caused the progression of the procession to seriously delay.

Despite fireworks are not allowed, some people still set off fireworks, causing more delays.

About 100 members of local police force were dispatched to control traffic, maintain order and enforce the no firework rule to ensure a smoother progression of the procession.

The palanquin of the goddess was originally scheduled to stay over at the Nan-Yao Temple in Changhua City on Saturday night, but it did not arrive at the temple until 3 a.m. on Sunday morning.

The Dajia Matsu Pilgrimage Procession will march south along Provincial Highway 1 and is scheduled to stay over at the Fusing Temple in Xiluo, Yunlin County on Sunday night.

People, whether believers or not, are welcome to join free one-day, two-day or three-day pilgrimage procession tours to walk with Dajia Matsu. But they have to register online at an earlier time. People interested in two-day or three-day tours are recommended to bring sleeping bags with them and take safety measures such as bringing flashlights and sticking light reflective strips to their clothes.

Updated : 2021-06-17 02:35 GMT+08:00