17 March 2008

Lá Fhéile Pádraig / Happy St-Patrick's day! It's Irish national day, DC has one day off. That's why we take Mom to LuKang, it's her day off too. We are lazy, we are relax and we are on our way.
On the first pic, we go to the Wunwu Temple. It consists of both Civil and Military Shrines. Those Shrines and Wenkai Academy (famous academy at the time, like the library) are built in 1811-1824.
We visit the Long-Shan Temple (built around 1653), it's classified by the government as a Class A historical site and also known as Taiwan's Forbidden City, for its solemn grandiosity. We are lucky to have Mr. Chen as tour guide to tell us the story of this temple and detail of the temple itself. The style of teh constructions of Long-Shan Temple is identical to that of the imperial palaces built in the Northern Sung Dynasty. They used to be altogether 99 doors and gates in and out of the temple, each contained its significant meanings according to tradition while they link all parts of the temple into an unity. It has fab building method and even the modern building method can't compete.
Later on, finally, we find the way to the Heavenly Empress Temple (also known as the Old Temple of Goddess Matsu of the Sea, which is one of the three major temples honoring the Heavenly Empress in LuKang). The temple is built in 1683 and it consists of three halls, being the front one with three entrance doors, each with an octagonal door on each side, where the porches serve as bell towers. The front hall has a mountain-shaped roof and large beams that make the building itself overwhelming. The Goddess statue is been smoked to black, which gives the peaceful image. The whole temple is nearly smoked to black coz of lots of believers' non-stop worshipping. It's good to see the little town reserved their culture and carry on so well. I'll come back another time. After driving around the town for 3 hours, I guess I know the place better now. The tourism sign is really not useful, comfuse all the time.
"In the 2nd year of the Emperor Kangxi of the Qing Dynasty (1683), Lang SHIH,
Fukian Navy Admiral had the order to conquer Taiwan with a statue of the
Heavenly Empress from Meizhou Temple. After Taiwan and Penghu were ruled,
Shibang SHIH, a nephew of Lang SHIH asked to have the statue left in Taiwan for
continous worshipping. Therefore, number of believers grew and the Heavenly
Empress was worshipped everywhere."
Bad news, DC catch cold and I don't think my cold is over yet. However, I'll keep an eye on this. Can't get sick now.
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