Sing An temple is
located at Sing An road, Shih Gang village, Shih Gang township.
According to the temple’s historical notes, after Zheng
Cheng-gong led his troop to land on this island in 1661, he
started to send troops to Shih Gang to greet the main god, Zhong
Tan Yuan Shuai, for protection. At that time, Sing An temple
might be an crude construction. In 1712, Shie’s family raised
one thousand and five hundred dollars to repair this temple. The
Shies’ was believed to be the most wealthy family in Shie
village. The temple went through 6 restorations.
Sing An temple holds the leadership of
King Ship culture in Zseng Wen area.
An temple preserves a large quantity of
pilgrimage in Sing An temple has been held every three years
since long time ago. Every time it started, certain routes in
the villages must be taken. This is a kind of territorial
circumventing ceremony. At the beginning of the Qing Dynasty, 36
villages were involved with this activity. In 1988, 90 villages
participated. Nowadays, the numbers are still increasing.
There was a famous
spot between the hall of Sing An temple and Yu-ting named
“Throat of carps”. Colorful carvings of carps swimming are
carved on the top of the bower. It is believed that this spot
was originally an pound where water came in and carps swam. It
is called the “cave of carps” (which is a blessed place in terms
of Feng shui ). Based on elders’ knowledge, on Oct. 6th
in 1971, some people witnessed an image of two carps showed on
the incenses and this image was taken by cameras. People believe
that this must be a truly blessed spot. There are golden carp
flags for people to bring home to worship. These flags may
provide protection to the house. Every time the holy pilgrimage
was held, these houses were notified to bring back the flags so
that Qian Sui god could know how well these carps have been
giving protection to its’ people.
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carving on walls of Sing An temple.
lights bring people all kinds of protection
Mother god, Zhong-tan-yuan-shuai and the nature god are worship
in Sing an temple. This temple has been exist for more than
three hundred years. Though this temple went through several
times of reconstruction, the antiques have always been well
one of the most valuables. At the first restoration in 1713, a
square piece of “Ku-bian” was first preserved. Another piece of
Ku-bian carved with “Both kind and powerful” was found at the
second reconstruction. It was from 1847.
In additional to
twenty or more pieces of Ku-bian, the most famous Ku-bian was
from Qing dynasty. It is believed to be made in An-ding
township. The exact address has been missing and the words on it
are too damaged to be recognized. It can only be referred to an
accident of Zhu Yi Qui rebellion. It is also named
as“Zhong-ten-bei”. The holy pilgrimage organized by Sing An
temple includes two levels of activities: the share of incense (Gua-xiang)
and sending gods away (Wang-qiao). It is a kind of
incense-disease folk activity that has been taken place among
temples. At the beginning, the routes in Shih Gang castle
gradually spread to the west coast. In the end, 76 to 90
villages in this area joined this activity and this area has
become the center of such culture.
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historically significant Ku-bian in Sing An temple.
art works in Sing An temple.
The origin of Shih Gang Incense activity is from the legend
which tells a ship of gods in the South ocean drifted to Nan-he-pu
in 1847. People in Nan-he-pu thus started to greet gods and then
later they sent these gods away. In fact, 1874 is the year that
this temple started the sending diseases gods away for the first
time. It is also a year of one of the reconstructions. The
history of sharing of incense should be detailed from the legend
of “The first king ship found by people in Ku-ma temple . There
should be seven phases to develop. Every phase represents a
period of time with its specific historical background. This
piece of Ku-bian has been believed to be very, very valuable.
According our interviews with the elders in the temple, after
Zhu Yi Qui’s rebellion, Wu Shih-lian’s troop (from Shih Gang
castle) cooperated with Qing force. Later, this troop was
praised on a piece wood built in front of the Wu’s house.
Whoever passed this wood, must stop to worship. Many years
later, some of the Han Chinese and indigenous people raised a
stone in place of the wood one.
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