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每日跟讀#582: Matsu takes a stroll

大甲媽祖遶境 熱鬧登場

· 每日跟讀單元 Daily English
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每日跟讀#582: Matsu takes a stroll

Thousands of worshipers will descend on Dajia’s Jenn Lann Temple tomorrow evening as an act of devotion to Matsu, one of the country’s most revered deities, when the temple’s Matsu statue is placed on a palanquin and carried for more than 300km from its home to the Tienfeng Temple in Singang, Chiayi County, and back again.

The nine-day pilgrimage takes place every year in the weeks leading up to Matsu’s birthday, which is on the 23rd day of the third month on the lunar calendar. This year’s pilgrimage ends on April 16.


Temple organizers say the pilgrimage is the world’s third largest and is probably the biggest religious festival in Taiwan, last year attracting over a million visitors. Pilgrims (known as “incense guests” in Chinese) can expect the pious to offer them free food and drinks along the pilgrimage route, because it is a way for residents to repay Matsu’s kindness and blessings.

這場歷時九天的遶境活動,每年於媽祖誕辰( 農曆三月二十三日)數星期前舉行。今年的遶境活動將於四月十六日結束。

Matsu will be entertained throughout the tour by performing groups like pole dancers, traditional musicians and dance troupes and protected by the Eight Generals, martial lictors and entranced spirit mediums.

遶境途中會有各式各樣的陣頭與表演團體獻藝娛樂媽祖,其中包括鋼管舞者、傳統樂師、舞陣;八家將、刀斧手(三十六執士隊)、以及被附身的乩童則負責保護媽祖。廟方表示,大甲媽祖遶境進香的活動規模堪稱世界第三大,更可能是台灣最大的宗教慶典。去年的遶境活動吸引了超過一百萬名信眾參與。居住在遶境路線上的民眾,為了感念媽祖平日的關照和保佑,經常會提供免費的飲食供參與遶境的 「香客」沿路取用。

In addition to the pilgrims who make the journey, devotees line the country roads and kneel to allow Matsu’s palanquin to pass over them — a ritual said to bring peace and good fortune for the coming year.


Though the devout will walk the entire procession, there are no rules stating that a person can’t participate for only a day or two. The best days to go are the first day, when Matsu is brought out of the temple to the sounds of blaring horns, booming drums and firecrackers; the fourth day, when it reaches Singang; and the final day, when village gangs have been known to fight their way to the front of the crowd to protect Matsu as she is returned to her temple.


Matsu will leave Jenn Lann Temple tomorrow at 10:00pm. For more information, visit (in Chinese):


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