Out of the more than 4,000 participants at this year’s Spring Festival divination block-throwing contest at Hsinchu County’s Chihhe Temple, 303 people went on to compete in the finals on Feb. 9. Although it was the first time to compete in a divination block-throwing contest for Chen Hsu Li-ching — a woman from Hsinchu County’s Jhudong Township — she beat all odds by throwing 10 shengjiao — divine answer positions — in a row, taking home the grand prize — a golden horse that weighs 12 liang (1.2kg) and has an estimated market value of NT$760,000.
Chen Hsu’s parents live nearby the temple, which is in Sinfong Township. She moved to Jhudong Township after getting married and visits the temple every year during the Lunar New Year to pray. Chen Hsu did not take part in either of the divination block-throwing contests during the previous two years. This year, however, was her first year to try her luck, and she ended up making it to the finals. Joined by her husband, Chen Hsu went to the temple again on Feb. 9, and unexpectedly threw 10 consecutive shengjiao positions, receiving thunderous cheers from onlookers.
Chen Ching-ho, secretary-general of the temple’s managing committee, says that this year’s contest was full of climaxes. First, a man named Lee Wen-huan threw seven shengjiao, and then a man named Jao Chan-cheng threw eight shengjiao. It was entirely unforeseen that Chen Hsu would toss out 10 shengjiao in a row. The other two winners went home with only the first and second-prize automobiles.
The 50-something Chen Hsu says that she is just a regular housewife and that there is no way she could possibly understand the techniques for throwing shengjiao positions. It was entirely by the good graces of the Wang Yeh deity that she could have been so lucky, Chen Hsu says, adding that as to what she will do with the golden horse after winning it so unexpectedly, she will take some time to ponder it before making a decision, and will have a dinner party with friends and family to share her good fortune.
(Liberty Times, Translated by Kyle Jeffcoat)
1. onlooker n.
觀眾；旁觀者 (guan1 zhong4; pang2 guan1 zhe3)
例: The scene was described as “utter chaos” by one onlooker.
2. technique n.
技巧 (ji4 qiao3)
例: Scientists have developed a new technique for detecting stomach cancer.
3. ponder v.
思考；仔細考慮 (si1 kao3; zi3 xi4 kao3 lu4)
例: The speech has certainly given us a few things to ponder.