Friday, June 8, 2012

Matsu, Goddess of the Sea

Summer 2003

My hometown has a very large temple for our goddess; she is called Matsu, the goddess of the Sea.  She migrated from china's Fujian Province to Taiwan with from China to Taiwan's people in the 17th Century.  She is the most revered deity in Taiwan Island.  her believers are distributed over Taiwan and China's coast.  Today in Taiwan there are about 870 temples dedicated to her worship.  Her birthday is in the third lunar month, on the 24th.  Every year, during this time, all of the Island's temples hold extensive and month-long joint celebrations, pilgrimages and ceremonies.  It is celebrated that was during the third lunar month.  It had more than ten million pilgrims and according to my governments.

   She was born in 957 A.D.  In all her life, she had helped the weak, aided the needy, cured the illness to save the patient, and subdued demons.  She had the mighty power of the taoist doctrines that quieted down the sea's surge, and helped fishing vessels safe and sound.  When she left that her father and brother had an accident on the sea, she stood in the seashore several days, waited for them to safely come back, and practiced magic for their safety.  Although she rescued all people of the fishermen, her father was the only one who died in the accident.  After that, she usually practice magic for fishing vessels' safety.  When she was 28 years old, she came back to Paradise.  After that, she often made her epiphany, which helped fishing vessel's safety, and helped the people who had gone from China to Taiwan.

   She had already been offered more than twenty respectful appellations by China's several emperors.  Since the villagers are mostly farmers and fishermen, the holiday for Matsu is very important.  Everyone tries to participate in the festivities of that day.  Very early in the morning large drums will sound the beginning of the parade of the goddesses coming to the temple to pay homage to mats; people pray as each goddess passes their house, they line up along the streets to watch the parade, and firecrackers sound in front of the procession as a sign of welcome for Matsu coming.  Many round tables with food are offered to the goddess.  I very much enjoy participating to celebrate Matsu's birthday.  I am always thankful for Matsu's blessing upon my safety.  In 2000 years, Taiwan and China between then had the first straight flight in about 50 years, because Taiwan people believe that Matsu that affected our governments.  It is perceived that Matsu is very important in the Taiwanese mind.

   Yen-Cheng, Yeh

No comments:

Post a Comment