Devout flock to see Meizhou Mazu on first visit to Taiwan in 20 years

Arrival Meizhou Mazu statue from original temple in China has generated excitement among Taiwanese believers, who scrambled to see the deity at Cihui Mazu temple

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The arrival of the Meizhou Mazu statue from the deity’s original temple in China has caused a stir with Taiwanese believers.

The arrival of the Meizhou Mazu statue from the deity’s original temple in China has caused a stir with Taiwanese believers. (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News)—The arrival of the Meizhou Mazu statue from the deity’s original temple in China has generated much excitement among Taiwanese believers, who scrambled to see the deity at the Cihui Mazu temple in downtown Banqiao, New Taipei City on Saturday night.

Many of the believers from other parts of the island took tour buses to the local temple, where the statue of Mazu from the Meizhou Mazu Temple, stayed overnight.

The Meizhou Mazu Temple on Meizhou Island in Putian, Fujian Province, where Mazu was born and became a goddess, is universally regarded as the original temple of all other Mazu temples around the world.

Meizhou Mazu’s visit to Taiwan was mainly arranged by Foxconn Founder and Chairman Terry Gou (郭台銘), who greeted the Mazu statue from the Chinese temple and participated in carrying the palanquin all the way to a nearby port for the trip to Taiwan.

New Taipei Department of Civil Affairs Commissioner Randy Chiang (江俊霆) said that unlike in 1997 when Meizhou Mazu came by plane, the Chinese temple especially arranged for the statue to take a boat for the first time for Taipei Harbor in Bali District via the Chinese port of Pingtan after 20 years. The journey took three hours.

The Cihui Mazu temple said Meizhou Mazu will stay in Taiwan for 17 days, during which pilgrimage possessions have been planned to take place in Taipei, New Taipei and Keelung from Sep. 25 to Sep. 29 as well as in southwestern Taiwan’s Yunlin County, Chiayi County and central Taiwan’s Taichung City before the deity heading home from Taichung Harbor on Oct. 9.