Tue, Jan 24, 2012 - Page 9 News List

Worshiping gods online at Lugang Tianhou Temple
鹿港天后宮網路點燈 新手拜拜嘛也通

A notification letter and peace talismans sent from the Lugang Tianhou Temple association to each person who has registered online to light lamps.
這是廟方寄給網路點燈者的「通知函」與「平安符」。

Photo: Lin Ya-ti, Taipei Times
照片:台北時報記者林亞蒂

“Be pious, and our Matsu will hear your prayers.” This is what Liu Chia-wen, vice general manager of Lugang Tianhou Temple, dedicated to Matsu, in Changhua County, told the Taipei Times. She said it with a radiant smile, brimming with confidence, in Lingxiao Hall at the temple’s rear two weeks ago. Lugang Tianhou Temple is enveloped in incense smoke throughout the year, and in response to the universal use of the Internet today, the temple has accommodated people’s busy schedules by offering them the option of worshiping online and praying for a trouble-free year.

「只要帶著一份虔誠的心,我們的媽祖很靈的!」這是彰化鹿港天后宮副總幹事劉家汶兩週前在後殿的凌霄寶殿,笑容可掬、信心滿滿告訴《台北時報》記者的一句話。鹿港天后宮整年香火鼎盛,廟方也順應當今網路普及的時代,讓各地忙碌的現代人,上網也能拜出好運來。

Lighting lamps at temples to pray for protection from the gods and a successful year is a custom performed all year round, but especially around the Lunar New Year. The light offerings include lighting a Taisui lamp, a Guangming lamp for a bright future, a Wenchang lamp for education and job promotion, and a Lord Baidou lamp. There is also the matchmaker god’s logbook where temple staff enter the names of worshipers for the god to make matches for. Lighting lamps does not have to be performed by the worshiper, and people can light lamps for their family and friends. They can also light several types of lamps at the same time. But, generally speaking, one lamp offers prayers for one person only.

一年四季尤其是春節前後,民眾傳統上會根據各自想望,到廟宇點燈,祈求神明保佑新年順遂。點燈種類包括:安太歲、光明燈、文昌燈與拜斗燈;另外還有月老姻緣簿,廟方會將信眾姓名登記於簿上,撮合姻緣。點燈對象不限本人,民眾可為親朋好友進行點燈,同一祈福者也可再加點其他燈種,但一座燈一般僅可為一人祈福。

This year is the Year of the Dragon. Liu said that since more people are born in the Year of the Dragon than in other year in the Chinese zodiac, and since they risk offending Taisui in the Year of the Dragon, a huge demand in lights to pacify Taisui is expected this year. Also, the Dog is diametrically opposite to the Dragon on the Chinese zodiac wheel, and the Ox and the Sheep are at each side of the perpendicular axis, and therefore people born under these four signs should also pacify Taisui in order to protect themselves against bad luck.

今年適逢龍年,劉家汶表示,因為龍子龍女人數多,而龍年屬龍者犯太歲,預期今年安太歲點燈人數會比往年人數更多。因為屬狗者正沖,牛、羊偏沖,為了趨吉避凶,這四個生肖必須安太歲。

In order to meet the demand for lamps among worshipers, Lugang Tianhou Temple, via Otiga Technologies, has offered its online lighting service since 2006, the first temple in Taiwan to do so. By simply providing one’s name, date of birth, and address, the whole registration process is done by a click of the mouse. Otiga Technologies vice president, surnamed Wang, said that other than the Internet, people can also light lamps through cellphones or 7-Eleven ibon kiosks. Unlike lighting virtual lamps online, Lugang Tianhou Temple actually writes the name of each worshiper on a lamp and picks the auspicious date for the lamp lighting ceremony. The first of these ceremonies in the Year of the Dragon will be held today. Online worshipers will receive a set of numbers, which are used to locate where their lamps are when they visit the temple in person. Although prayers to Taisui are usually done prior to the Lantern Festival, any day in a year is fine to light lamps, as long as it is an auspicious day. All the lamps will be turned off on the 24th day of the 12th lunar month.

為了滿足各方信眾點燈的需求,鹿港天后宮自二○○六年首創網路點燈服務,而此項服務系統建置是由眾來科技負責。只要提供姓名、國曆生日、居住地後,即可一指搞定。除此之外,眾來科技王姓副總表示,除了網路,透過手機與ibon也不失為一項方便的點燈管道。不同於坊間的虛擬點燈,天后宮廟方將祈福者姓名寫於燈上,選定吉日於廳堂內完成安奉儀式,而今年龍年的首次安奉儀式就在今天。網路點燈民眾會收到一組編號,方便信眾親赴察看燈座。雖然安太歲通常都是元宵節前安,但劉家汶表示,只要是好日子,其實任何時間皆可安燈。而該年的所有燈座,都會在農曆十二月二十四日卸燈。

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