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Taiwan Mazu Fellowship chairman Cheng Ming-kun introduces Mazu “madness”
Taiwan News, Staff Writer
2014-06-14 10:04 PM
Cheng Ming-kun has forgotten how many times he has visited Fuzhou. Dajia’s Jenn Lann Temple, where Cheng serves as vice-chairman, had already surmounted Taiwan’s obstructions in 1987 to journey to Meizhou Island via Japan to participate in events commemorating Mazu’s birth and became the first Taiwanese temple to make a pilgrimage to Meizhou Island’s Mazu Temple since the division of China and Taiwan.

Cheng stated, approximately 80% of the ancestral homes of Taiwanese are in Fujian. When they relocated to Taiwan, they brought the religion and culture of their ancestral homeland. “The Meizhou Island Mazu Temple is the spiritual home of Taiwanese believers.

However, it is also good that mainland friends are coming to Taiwan to experience a uniquely Taiwanese belief culture.” Cheng told reporters, Dajia’s Jenn Lann Temple holds an eight-day, seven-night pilgrimage event every March. Over 100,000 believers from various locales form a massive pilgrimage assemblage that sets out from Jenn Lann Temple to march through four central coastal cities (Taichung, Changhua, Yunlin, and Chiayi), 21 townships, and 80 temples for a total journey of 330 kilometers. Along the way, worshipping believers number more than 1 million and is commonly known as “March Madness Mazu.” This pilgrimage has been named by the Discovery Channel as a major event of the three major world religions.

In recent years, with the expansion of the scale of exchange between civil temples and the broadening of fields in which exchange occurs, many cross-strait Taoist and folk religion cultural exchange platforms have formed in Fujian such as the Mazu cultural tourism festival and Guan Di cultural festival which have played active roles in peaceful cross-strait relations development promoted by cross-strait temples.

Now, the “March Madness Mazu” event is becoming more and more well known in mainland China. Many mainland believers have been attracted to Taiwan to participate in this once a year religious and cultural event. Cheng stated, he hopes more and more mainland friends will come to Taiwan in the future to go “Mad” over Mazu and jointly forge this event into a pageant of cross-strait religious cultural exchange.

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