Mon, Sep 25, 2006 - Page 3 News List

Taiwan Quick Take: Matsu returns to 228 park

STAFF WRITER

PHOTO: TSAI TSUNG-HSUN, TAIPEI TIMES

A total of 14 statues of Matsu -- the goddess of the ocean in Chinese folk legend -- from around northern Taiwan were brought together in Taipei yesterday in celebration of the Northern Taiwan Matsu Cultural Festival. The festival incorporates a ritual held annually in honor of the arrival of the "golden face Matsu," from Taipei County's Fucheng Temple, at her original residence in 228 Memorial Park. Taipei Mayor Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) and leaders from seven cities presided over the ceremony and accompanied Matsu as she was brought to the park by river and by land. The golden-faced Matsu resided in the temple dedicated to her in the park until 1908. However, the statue was then lost for a certain period, and was later reclaimed and placed in the Fucheng Temple in Taipei County's Sanjhih Township. Every year Matsu believers invite her back to the original temple. The statue will remain at the park until Oct. 2, with rituals and traditional arts performances to be held every day. For more information, visit: www.ca.taipei.gov.tw/civil/page.htm.

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