Wed, Feb 01, 2012 - Page 16 News List

Praying to the god of wealth in the Lunar New Year
迎財神 人潮瘋 摸元寶 搶紅包

A worker at the Jen Shou Temple in Greater Tainan dresses like the god of wealth while giving out red envelopes with money inside last Thursday.
仁壽宮人員上週四於台南市扮財神,向各地民眾分送紅包。

Photo: Wu Chun-feng, Liberty Times
照片: 自由時報記者吳俊鋒

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.

TODAY’S WORDS 今日單字

1. pray v.

祈求 (qi2 qiu2)

例: The preacher led the congregation in praying for the woman’s quick recovery.

(牧師引導會眾祈求女士迅速康復。)

2. plaza n.

廣場 (guang2 chang3)

例: The protesters are set to gather at the plaza in front of the bank.

(抗議者打算在銀行前的廣場集合。)

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.

(車位已滿。我們得去別處找地方停車。)


(Liberty Times, Translated by Kyle Jeffcoat)

大年初四,各地廟宇依循傳統信仰習俗接神,湧進參拜信眾,爭相摸金元寶、搶紅包,希望龍年發大財。

根據民間說法,眾神農曆十二月二十四日返回天庭述職,大年初四過後陸續下凡,民眾多準備鮮花素果,迎接神明。由於財神最受歡迎,各地財神廟會選在這一天擴大慶祝。

新北市八里區渡船頭旁的五福宮,也湧入成千上萬名信眾參拜,祈求來年財運亨通、事業興隆。南投縣草屯鎮以發財金聞名的敦和宮,一整天鞭炮聲不斷,香客同樣是絡繹不絕,把廟前廣場擠得水洩不通。

南投縣以發財金著名的竹山鎮紫南宮,過年以來就人潮不斷。上週四上午七時不到,廟方在周邊規劃的二千多車位大小停車場就沒有空位,估算一整天下來迎財神的民眾至少有十三萬人。當天前來借發財金的人數也有一萬五千餘人,累計初一到初四已借出二千餘萬元發財金。

(自由時報記者吳俊鋒、林明宏、林欣漢、賴筱桐報導)

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