On the fourth day of the Lunar New Year, temples everywhere followed traditional beliefs and customs in welcoming the gods. Hordes of worshippers flooded temples, contending to rub gold ingots and vying for red envelopes filled with money in hopes that the Year of the Dragon will be a prosperous one.
According to popular belief, the gods return to heaven to report to their superiors on the 24th day of the 12th month of the lunar calendar, and start returning to the mortal realm on the fourth day of the Lunar New Year. People usually prepare fresh flowers and fruit to welcome the gods during this time. As the god of wealth, or cai shen, is the most popular deity, temples dedicated to this god usually expand their celebrations on that day.
Thousands of worshippers flooded the Wu Fu Temple next to the ferry harbor in New Taipei City’s Bali District, praying for wealth and prosperity in their careers in the new lunar year. Firecrackers went off and there was a continuous stream of worshippers at the Dunhe Temple in Nantou County’s Caotun Township the entire day, crowding the plaza in front of the temple to such an extent that you could not even budge an inch.
Over the Lunar New Year holiday, the Zinan Temple in Nantou County’s Jhushan Township, which is known for giving out money, had a perpetual crowd. The parking lots the temple set up with enough spaces for 2,000 vehicles were already full by 7am last Thursday. An estimated 130,000 people came to pay homage to the god of wealth, and more than 15,000 came to receive money the temple was giving out that day. The temple gave out more than NT$20 million between the first and fourth day of the Lunar New Year.
1. pray v.
祈求 (qi2 qiu2)
例: The preacher led the congregation in praying for the woman’s quick recovery.
2. plaza n.
廣場 (guang2 chang3)
例: The protesters are set to gather at the plaza in front of the bank.
3. parking lot n.
停車場 (ting2 che1 chang3)
例: The parking lot is full. We will have to find somewhere else to park.
(Liberty Times, Translated by Kyle Jeffcoat)