Zihnan Temple (紫南宮), a famous temple to the Earth God (土地公) in Nantou County’s Jhushan Township (竹山), drew nearly 70,000 worshipers yesterday — the first day of the Year of the Rat — to pray for prosperity.
The first in line for a “mother coin” (錢母) — which is believed to attract wealth and bring in more money throughout the year — distributed by the temple was an 81-year-old man surnamed Liao (廖), who said he had been waiting in line for five days.
The first 2,000 people in line received a “mother coin” and were eligible to take part in a lottery, with prizes ranging from NT$600 to NT$4,800 in cash, a golden ring, a “mother coin” set and a gold ingot, temple management committee director Chuang Chiu-an (莊秋安) said.
Photo: Liu Pin-chuan, Taipei Times
A local resident, surnamed Lo (羅), won the golden ingot, valued at NT$12,000.
People in 2,001st to 3,000th place in the line each also received a “mother coin,” Chuang said.
In other news, several politicians yesterday visited temples where they handed out hongbao (紅包, red envelopes containing money) to temple-goers.
Photo: David Chang, EPA-EFE
President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) visited five temples in northern Taiwan and gave out red envelopes, which each symbolically contained a NT$1 coin for good fortune. Vice president-elect William Lai (賴清德) also visited five temples across southern Taiwan and distributed red envelopes.
Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je’s (柯文哲) itinerary included visits to 15 temples to pray and hand out red envelopes to worshipers.
Asked whether he received a hongbao from his parents, Ko said: “To my surprise, my dad did give me one, but it was then taken away” by Peggy Chen (陳佩琪, Ko’s wife).
Additional reporting by Chen Ching-min, Yang Ching-cheng and Yu Ming-ching
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