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
for Wu station (Martial station).
Shan Wu Chia Wen-Wu Lang Jun Station
in Shih Gang is unique.
2. The origin of holy pilgrimage
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
Local views of Holy pilgrimage
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.