Tue, Mar 05, 2013 - Page 11 News List

Matsu devotee pilfers bike to complete pilgrimage
遶境腳痠 偷單車載媽祖被抓

People carry a Matsu palanquin during a procession at a temple in Changhua County on Dec. 21 last year.

Photo: Wu Wei-kung, Liberty Times

A man surnamed Wang, who was carrying Matsu — goddess of the sea — on a pious nine-day pilgrimage, grew fatigued and his feet were hurting, so he decided to steal a bicycle instead of continuing on foot. He placed the goddess in the bike’s basket and continued the procession, but Matsu, riding a stolen bike, may have decided not to bless Wang, who was arrested 6 hours after the bike was stolen.

The 47-year-old Wang has been convalescing at home for several years due to declining health, which has kept him from working as a mechanic at a body shop, so he was in charge of the household affairs and taking care of the kids, while his wife worked to put food on the table. Wang’s father had procured a Matsu goddess from a local temple, which was used for worship at home. Wang himself is also a devout Matsu follower.

Wang believes that if Matsu blesses him it will alleviate his ailments and return him to good health, so that is why he always goes on the Matsu pilgrimage. Every year he carries a pillow and blanket, with Matsu and her banner on his back, following the procession from Singang Township’s Fengtien Temple to visit temples along the way. For four years now, Wang has participated in every one of the Singang pilgrimages around Chiayi.

(Liberty Times, Translated by Kyle Jeffcoat)






1. fatigued adj.

疲乏的 (pi2 fa2 de5)

例: She’s severely fatigued because she hasn’t slept in days.


2. body shop n. phr.

修車廠 (xiu1 che1 chang3)

例: My car’s at the body shop. The radiator’s busted.


3. put food on the table idiom

養家 (yang3 jia1)

例: With such a huge mortgage and two car payments, they are finding it hard to put food on the table.


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