Thu, Feb 05, 2009 - Page 15 News List

Light a good fortune light for a successful New Year 點盞光明燈 守護一整年

Lighting a tiny light — a guangmingdeng in Chinese — for good fortune during the Lunar New Year is said to bring a safe and smooth year, and is one of the services that big temples in Taiwan offer to worshippers.

The Tientan Temple on Chungyi Road in Tainan is the local religious center. At the end of each lunar year the temple notifies devotees who lit a guangmingdeng in the temple the previous year to remind them to come back to light one again for the coming year.

The period between the first day of the Lunar New Year and the Lantern Festival is the peak season for lighting good fortune lights. To cater to the thousands of devotees, more than 40 students are recruited to help with the illumination ritual every year.

The Tianhou Temple in Anping, with its history of more than 300 years, is well-known nationwide for its worship of Mazu and Koxinga, who defeated the Dutch to claim Taiwan in 1662. Since last year, the temple has offered a special household deal, allowing each worshipper to light one safety light for up to five people. As the organizers expected, this thoughtful service has been well-received.

The Lu’ermen Tienhou Temple, another temple dedicated to Mazu, offers different kinds of lights depending on where they will be placed and how many people they will be lit for. These include regular lights placed outside the temple, lights placed inside the temple closer to the statue of Mazu and large lights placed in the corridors that can be shared by a family. This way, devotees can connect with the deity based on their own particular needs.

In addition, the district office at the Miaoshou Temple in Anping built a road designed for outdoor lights next to the temple. The proceeds from the lighting ritual will be used to pay the electricity bills for the lights installed on the road, so not only are donors given divine protection, but the community at large benefits. The temple will display the names of contributors in front of the shrine devoted to the deity.

OUT LOUD 對話練習

Thomas: What will you be wishing for at this year’s Lantern Festival?

Robert: Not much. I just hope this year’s as good as last year.

Thomas: Why? What happened?

Robert: Well, I launched my own business and recently quit my day job.

Thomas: Pretty good.

Robert: That’s not all. I also learned Spanish and won the local snooker championship.

Thomas: That’s very impressive. You really are a man for all seasons.

湯馬士:今年元宵節你要�?艡@?

羅柏:沒什麼啦,只希望今年能像去年一樣好就好了。

湯馬士:為什麼?發生了什麼事?

羅柏:唔,我創業了,而且最近我把白天的工作辭掉了。

湯馬士:很好啊。

羅柏:還不只這樣,我也去學西班牙文,還贏得地方撞球賽的冠軍。

湯馬士:真令人敬佩。你真是十八般武藝樣樣精通耶。

a man for all seasons 文武雙全的人

A man for all seasons is a man who can operate successfully in a wide array of different situations. For example: “Leo is an accomplished swimmer, pianist and academic. He’s truly a man for all seasons.”

「a man for all seasons」指的就是一個在各種不同情況下都能表現優異的人。例如:「李奧是一個傑出的泳者、鋼琴家和學者。他實在是十八般武藝樣樣精通」。


Despite the economic problems beginning last year and rumors that people have abandoned the practice, the tradition has stood the test of time. Representatives of these temples all said this year’s business was better than in previous years.

(translated by Theodore Yang)

新春點光明燈可帶來整年平安順遂,也是各大廟宇為信眾提供的服務之一。

位於台南市忠義路的天壇是府城人信仰中心,每年年底,廟方會主動寄發通知單給前一年曾在廟中安光明燈的信眾,提醒他們回來點光明燈。

農曆正月初一到元宵節是點燈高峰期,為因應每天數以千計的安燈民眾,天壇每年都要招募四十多名工讀生協助處理點燈事宜。

有三百餘年歷史的安平開台天后宮,以供奉媽祖及在一六六二年驅逐荷蘭人的鄭成�?W全台。自去年開始,推出以「戶」為單位的計價方式,同一個燈位最多可註明五個人的生辰,如此貼心的作法,果然獲得熱烈回響。

同樣奉祀媽祖的鹿耳門天后宮則隨著位置、數量不同,有多種光明燈,包括一般的殿外光明燈、比較接近媽祖的殿內光明燈,及位於迴廊可全家共點的大型光明燈,讓信眾根據需要和神明「結緣」。

安平妙壽宮區公所則在廟旁開設了一條馬路,規劃「戶外光明燈」,將民眾用來點燈的錢,支付馬路路面崁燈電費,廟方則將捐錢者大名呈在神明前,這種點燈方式不但是做公益,還能享有神明庇佑。

雖然去年以來,百業蕭條,也傳出有民眾「退點」光明燈的情形,但這幾所廟宇均異口同聲表示,今年點燈的狀況反而比前幾年好。(自由時報)

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