Thu, Apr 12, 2018 - Page 4 News List

People looking to beat pimples head to Changhua temple

By Jonathan Chin  /  Staff writer, with CNA

Changhua resident Chen Chun-ta, right, on Feb. 25 last year shows tourists around the Kaihua Temple, which was built in the Qing Dynasty.

Photo: Liu Hsiao-hsin, Taipei Times

Changhua’s historic Kaihua Temple has been attracting new worshipers by offering an unusual blessing: divine protection for people with pimples.

A county-level historical heritage, the small Buddhist temple was founded in 1724 and its main deity is Avalokitesvara bodhisattva, but at some point during the Qing Dynasty, it began to venerate Lord and Lady Pox (痘公痘婆), Changhua Mayor Chiu Chien-fu (邱建富) said.

According to folklore, Lord and Lady Pox were a physician couple who miraculously cured people with smallpox before vanishing from the area without a trace, Chiu said.

In gratitude, residents began worshiping the couple as gods at the temple and the belief that they would help people with acne developed later, he said.

While a majority of the temple’s visitors come to offer incense to the bodhisattva for other blessings, it has also received people seeking relief from pimples for themselves or their children, temple caretakers said.

Worshipers of Lord and Lady Pox typically bring offerings of lotions and makeup powders to their altar, while a bouquet of flowers is the customary token of gratitude for those who have recovered from acne, they said.

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