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Mazu Chinese Goddess Of The Sea

October 25, 2012 by  

Mazu Chinese Goddess Of The Sea, The annual procession to honor the sea goddess Matsu in Taiwan’s central county of Changhua will include a “check-in” feature on Facebook this year, giving followers the latest updates on the procession, organizers said Saturday. In its fifth year, the Matsu religious festival in Changhua has become the county’s most vibrant event of its kind, Chou Po-yuan said in a message posted on the event’s official website.

Chou hopes the event and its various activities, including religious rituals, traditional plays, fairs, competitions and seminars, can also give a boost to local tourism.

In collaboration with Chunghwa Telecom Co., Taiwan’s biggest telecom operator, this year’s event incorporates traditional practices and new technology, the organizers said.

Using global positioning systems and electronic fence solutions, Matsu will automatically “check in and out” at each temple she visits on a Facebook page, the telecom company said. Her followers will get the latest updates.

This year’s procession began Saturday at Fu Ning Temple in the Changhua township of Yuanlin, where the goddess is enshrined, and will proceed to 11 temples in the county, before returning to Fu Ning on the eighth day.

It is one of several processions in Taiwan to honor Matsu, the goddess and guardian of fishermen and sailors. Such events have been observed in Taiwan for over a century. A statue of the goddess is usually carried by devotees on a sedan chair.

Another procession that begins at Jenn Lann Temple in the Taichung township of Dajia — the largest of its kind — has evolved from a purely religious ritual into a national cultural event over the years.

Matsu is one of the most popular deities in Taiwan. According to legend, she was a girl from the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) who was deified posthumously in honor of the assistance she offered to Chinese seafarers. Since being brought to Taiwan by Chinese immigrants in the 1600s, Matsu traditions have attracted many local worshippers.

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