1. Definition of holy pilgrimony

    Gua-xiang is a common name of a holy pilgrimage. It was a ceremony for prayers who asked for a share of candle fire from a temple in exchange of an ability of communicating with gods which brings back life energy and expels evil. People developed holy pilgrimage based on their environment and history features. It is thus formed slightly different activities in various areas.

During Holy Pilgrimage, Jiao-jin is especially meaningful
 for Wu station (Martial station).

Shan Wu Chia Wen-Wu Lang Jun Station
 in Shih Gang is unique.

2. The origin of holy pilgrimage

 Holy pilgrimage in Shih Gang is one of the most significant five southwest ceremonies. It has been held in Sing An Temple in Shih Gang township, Tainan county, every three years. According to classical legends, it was originally held in 1784 by members of Ku-ma temple who found the first royal king ship on Zseng-wen river. They welcomed the gods inside the ship and brought them back to the temple to worship them. At the same year, Ku-ma temple、Ba-feng、East bamboo forest、Litchi forest、Black bamboo forest、Double Cheng、Under village、Guan village、Mango forest、Back village、Lower village、Mud town and Iron-made town were united together to propose that Ku-ma temple practice the ceremony. These activities were organized by Ku-ma temple every three years. In 1823, due to certain difficulties, such rituals were transferred to Sing An temple and later, they extended to nearby 24 villages. It is now reached to 36 villages. The difficulties of processing this ceremony were related to a storm occurred in 1823. The storm landed on Zseng wen area heading north and caused sever obstruction of the river area. They recognized Mother God as their main god and made Mother God a golden statue. Sing An temple officially became the main organizing institute which practice these rituals regularly. These practices were later became the current ritual of Shih Gang holy prilgrimage which includes: greeting gods, construction, and the route taking, the holy prilgrimage. Back to top

3. Local views of Holy pilgrimage

 If people asked what is the meaning of practicing holy pilgrimage , local villagers would tell them that it is a ceremony of greeting Qian-Sui gods. People must worship these gods at the original temple where they first appeared. People go back to the temple and ask for a share of candle fire to bring back life energy. This is called Cross the Incense Pot. It is not holy prilgrimage yet. The ritual of every three year is believed to include both the holy pilgrimage and god worship. Even though people from different area may hold different ideas about this ceremony, they still cooperate together in the process.


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