Nan-ying five teams
Tainan county was named Nan-ying in south-west area. Gua-xiang
(share of incense) has been mainly performed in south Ba Zhang
river and north Zseng Wen river. There are five teams in this
Shih Gang Zi Xiang (Incense in Shih Gang): this is an activity
of sharing incense held by Shih An temple in Tainan county. It
is also the biggest event of the five. This ceremony is held in
the year of Ox, Dragon, Goat and Dog.
Xue Jia Xiang (Incense in Xue Jia): this one is held by Tzu Chi
temple in Xue Jia township. It is an irregular activity. This
ceremony can be held in the year of Ox, Dragon, Goat and Dog.
Ma Dou Xiang (Incense in Ma Dou): held in Dai-tan temple in Ma
Dou township. This ceremony is held in the year of Ox, Dragon,
Goat and Dog.
Xiao Xiang (Incense in Xiao Xiang): held by King Tong temple in
Chia Li township. This ceremony is held in the year of Rat,
Rabbit, Horse and Rooster.
Tu Chen Zi Xiang (Incense in Tu Chen township): held by Mother
Gold temple in Tu Chen township. This ceremony is held in the
year of Ox, Dragon, Goat and Dog.
2. Gua-xiang and Jin-xiang (reunion of
Jin-xiang is a reunion of previously shared incenses that are
brought back to their sourced temple greeting to the Mother God.
Gua-xiang is, on the other hand, an ritual of sharing incenses
(symbolize protection from gods) and people take these incenses
home to worship or to walk in the neighborhood area to share
protection from gods. The difference lies with the fact that
Jin-xiang is a reunion operation run by local, small temples and
Gua-xiang is an operation run by the major, greater (spiritual
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3. The twelve diseases gods
At the beginning of building Sing An temple, there was a serious
plague spreading in different areas. Gods were the only hope for
the sick. Thus, people believed that the Jade Emperor (the
supreme deity of Taoism) sent twelve gods who controls diseases
to patrol on earth. As the twelve gods carried their duties,
plague disappeared in communities. Civilians were grateful to
the twelve gods and have been worshiped these gods ever since.
4. The flag officer
The flag officer was a leader of a troop which was specialized
with skills to guard Qian Sui god. This officer belongs to Zhong
Jin residence. Before Qian Sui god patrolled the earth, the flag
officer must check up the routes and local situations. When
checking up the routes, the flag officer must hold a flag and
ride a horse. One must be rich to be a flag officer and to be
selected by Qian Sui god. It is a great blessing to be a flag
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5. Zong-gan god
During the ritual of sending disease gods away in Shih Gang,
people can see different features between Zong-gan residence and
Chang-guan residence. Zong-gan god is a pilot of King Ship and
Chang-guan god is an officer of the factory which King Ship is
built up. In Chang-guan god residence, there are many paper-made
sailors placed on the King Ship. These paper-made sailors are to
be burnt with the King Ship.
6. Entering temple
The time of entering temple is another high time. After people
who took Rao-jin (territorial circumventing ceremony) have
dinner, it is high time to report earth conditions to Qian Sui
god. All the stations came forward to perform a short show in
front of the temple. All the gods on shrines must perform a
ritual of salute, called “Shan-jin-shan-tui”. Gi Tong (psychic)
are standby and to be possessed.
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7. Beseech water
This is a ceremony of entreating water from the nature. This
ceremony can be held every other years or every year. It can
also be held occasionally based on environmental conditions.
Taoist priests ask permissions from god and wait for the right
time. When the time is up, the priests or Gi Tong lead a group
of people to get into a river or an ocean and escort the water
with umbrellas to the shore. The water is placed in a shrine and
people continuously perform music until they arrived at the
Jian-quao is a ritual which only exists in Zseng Wen river. In
King Ship ceremony, all the King Ships are set up with carp
flags. Sing An temple has been believed to be a carp cave where
carp gods shed special protection on. When in ceremonies, people
from different area hold their carp flags that they borrowed
previously came back to the temple.
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9. Dai-yu-jia (Wearing fish cang)
Yu-jia is a fish cang that is a lock in shape of a fish. It is
used for redemption. Criminals dress up in black and tie a black
strip on forehead and locked with Yu-jia. During holy
pilgrimage, there are also people who play this criminal roles.
Every morning, before the territorial circumventing ceremony,
criminals (man play) must wear fish cangs and kneel down right
before the god statue. They must keep that positron until the
troops finish the territorial circumventing ceremony.
10. Go underneath the shrine
Some people believe that going underneath the shrines during
holy pilgrimage can wash out evil and bad luck. One can go in
person or he/she can has someone hold his/her clothes to go
underneath shrines. It is believed that clothes can be a
representative of a man. If a man can’t come in person, he can
use his cloth as a representative.
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11. Sao-xiang-lu (clean roads for holy
People who clean up roads are mostly elder women. There are also
some men and children. They hold new brooms and walk in front of
the shrines to clean the road. These new brooms are tagged with
a piece of red paper to show the specialty.
12. Kai-guan and Tan-guan (the opening and
The head of the station is usually a local group. This group is
generated to have more people involved in this activity. Due to
massive population relocation, a lot of young people have
relocated outside the village and very few people stay.
Sometime, only limited population can participate in this
ceremony. After a month of training, the station can be
performed successfully. Elders, then, choose a fine time in a
fine day to start this station and this is called Kai-guan (the
opening). This is a report to gods that this station is
officially registered. Tan-guan (the practice) is a random
practice to check if the station has been practicing as planned.
If any problems occur during practices, workers will have to
figure out the solutions immediately.
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