The New Taipei City (新北市) Government last week launched a bimonthly journal focusing on interfaith worship, religious festivals, ritual ceremonies and sacred shrines around the city.
The Chinese-language journal, which debuted on Jan. 2, is called Bo Pi New Taipei City (保庇新北市).
Bo pi is the Taiwanese way of referring to divine protection.
Photo: Tseng Te-feng, Taipei Times
Readers can turn to the journal to learn about the diverse religious cultures in the city, city officials said.
Those looking for divine blessings and guidance on gaining wealth, having a son or daughter, finding a lover or job prospects, can find advice in the journal, they said.
According to the city’s Civil Affairs Bureau, New Taipei City was the original starting place for migrant settlement and opening up new lands in northern Taiwan hundreds of years ago.
With such an historic and cultural background, it has an abundance of Buddhist-Taoist temples and Christian churches.
There are 952 registered temples and 120 churches, including 160 Buddhist-Taoist temples that are more than 100 years old, the bureau said.
There are also more than 3,000 Taoist shrines, called shentan (神壇), as well as “deity worship associations” (神明會) under the city’s supervision, the bureau said.
Two of the nation’s five major Buddhist monasteries are located in New Taipei City: Dharma Drum Mountain in Jinshan (金山) and the Ling-Jiou Mountain Monastery in Gongliao (貢寮).
Surveys by the bureau suggest that on average, there are two temples, shentan or churches per square kilometer around the city — with their highest density in Banciao (板橋), Sanchong (三重) and Yonghe (永和) districts.
Hsichih (汐止) and Sansia (三峽) districts have the highest number of registered temples, while Wulai District (烏來) has the fewest registered temples.
The top three deities worshiped in the city’s Buddhist-Taoist temples are the Earth God (土地公), Kuanyin (觀世音) and Matsu (媽祖), government surveys showed.
“From the establishment of these temples and churches, we can follow the historic and demographic development trends of our city. They are also the focus of important local festivals that preserve and pass down the cultural traditions and ritual ceremonies with their unique regional characteristics,” said Chiang Chun-ting (江俊霆), head of the Civil Affairs Bureau.
The bureau has also created a calendar listing temple festivals and religious celebrations for this year, which will be made available online as well as in Bo Pi New Taipei City, he said.
“This way we can introduce the public to the many unique temple festivals and religious celebrations around New Taipei City,” Chiang said.
Bo Pi New Taipei City will be published every other month, on the 20th, and will be available at libraries, local district offices and district household registration offices. It is also produced in ebook format, which can be downloaded at www.ca.ntpc.gov.tw/24;data_pagenode/details/.
TOO CLOSE FOR COMFORT: A US Air Force KC-135 tanker came less than 1,000 feet of an EVA plane and was warned off by a Taipei air traffic controller, a report said A US aerial refueling aircraft came very close to an EVA Airways jet in the airspace over southern Taiwan, a military aviation news Web site said. A report published by Alert 5 on Tuesday said that automatic dependent surveillance–broadcast (ADS-B) data captured by planfinder.net on Wednesday last week showed a US Air Force KC-135 tanker “coming less than 1,000 feet [305m] vertically with EVA Air flight BR225 as both aircraft crossed path south of Taiwan” that morning. The report included an audio recording of a female controller from the Taipei air traffic control center telling the unidentified aircraft that it was
A US aircraft carrier group led by the USS Theodore Roosevelt has entered the South China Sea to promote “freedom of the seas,” the US military said yesterday, as tensions between China and Taiwan raise concerns in Washington. US Indo-Pacific Command said in a statement that the strike group entered the South China Sea on Saturday, the same day Taiwan reported a large incursion of Chinese bombers and fighter jets into its air defense identification zone near the Pratas Islands (Dongsha Islands, 東沙群島). The US military said the carrier strike group was in the South China Sea, a large part of which
STRATEGIC MISTAKE: Beijing’s deployment of aircraft near Taiwan proves the ‘China threat theory’ that sees it attempting to destabilize the region, an analyst said China on Saturday and yesterday sent a record number of military aircraft into the nation’s air defense identification zone (ADIZ), in what analysts said was an attempt to flex its military might for US President Joe Biden. Thirteen Chinese warplanes flew into Taiwan’s southwestern ADIZ on Saturday and 15 entered yesterday, the highest number observed in a single day this year, the Ministry of National Defense said. On Saturday, eight Xian H-6K bombers, four Shenyang J-16 fighters and a Y-8 anti-submarine aircraft, entered the ADIZ, while yesterday there were two Y-8s, two Su-30s, four J-16s, six J-10 fighters and a Y-8 reconnaissance
DISPOSING MYTHS: A new constitution would better reflect reality, as the current one was drafted ‘in and for China,’ without the consent of Taiwanese, advocates said Independence advocates yesterday launched the Taiwan New Constitution Alliance to promote drafting a new, localized constitution. “This is a historic moment for Taiwan. Drafting a new constitution is the most important task Taiwanese face,” veteran independence advocate Koo Kwang-ming (辜寬敏) said at the inaugural event in Taipei. “Although the Democratic Progressive Party is in power, its authority is based on the Republic of China [ROC] Constitution, which has no connection to Taiwan,” said the 95-year-old Koo, a former presidential adviser. “The historic task of drafting a new constitution depends on efforts by all Taiwanese,” Koo said. “A constitution for a sovereign, independent Taiwan