Posts Tagged 'religion'

Giant red god temple, Toufen, Taiwan

For the casual observer, once you’ve seen a few temples in Taiwan they all start looking similar.  Intricate carvings, wall and ceiling paintings, statues of ferocious warriors and gentle deities – I started getting used to them.  Obviously, once one starts studying Taiwanese worship and religion, different temples take on different meanings and one can appreciate them more, but I’m not there yet.  So, now I generally drive by them without marvelling at these conspicuous looking structures in the otherwise drab small town landscape.

That is until I drove by this fierce looking specimen:

Big red god in toufen Continue reading ‘Giant red god temple, Toufen, Taiwan’


Ghost Month in Taiwan

Religion and belief in Taiwan are a mish mash of Buddhism, Taoism and traditional Chinese folklore.  From what I’ve learned so far, some of the things that play a big role in traditional Taiwanese beliefs are ancestral worship, luck and ghosts.  Like everywhere else, the younger generations are slowly letting go of a lot of the older beliefs, but Taiwan still has a lot of people who hold on to the traditions that they’ve grown up with.  One such thing is Ghost month. Continue reading ‘Ghost Month in Taiwan’

Zushi Temple (清水祖師廟), Sanxia, Taipei

Zushi TempleZushi temple, in Sanxia, Taipei is one of the older temples in Taiwan.  It was originally built in 1767 and has gone through 3 reconstructions since.  We went on a rainy day but that, in no way, lessened the  beauty of the temple.  I’m always in awe when I visit a temple in Taiwan because of the sheer amount of intricate artwork and carvings jammed tightly into such a small space.  This holds doubly true for the Zushi temple because of the large amount of stonework within it’s walls. Continue reading ‘Zushi Temple (清水祖師廟), Sanxia, Taipei’

Qingming Festival (清明節) – Tomb sweeping day

Eastern culture, unlike the west, has hung on to a lot of it’s old traditions and religious practices.  The unstoppable behemoth of progress has not reduced centuries of faith and belief to minute vestiges of what once was.  Here in Taiwan, it seems that the people have incorporated both systems together, and each play a daily part in their lives.  One of the aspects of this is the importance that Taiwanese give to their ancestors which is manifested in the Qingming Festival. Continue reading ‘Qingming Festival (清明節) – Tomb sweeping day’

Getting offered English lessons by a Mormon missionary

I’ve learned that there are Mormon missionaries in and around rural Taiwan.  These folks are fluent in Mandarin, and their mission is to spread their beliefs to the natives and gain converts to follow the Mormon church.  They are specially trained back home, and sent here to preach the faith.  I understand that this is part of their religion.  Obviously, everyone is entitled to say their piece, and it’s upto the listener to make a judgement call.  I personally have no problem if people want to tell me something – what I think may be a totally different story, but I’ll definitely give a listen, as long as it doesn’t get preachy or too pushy.  Sometimes, this results in funny situations. Continue reading ‘Getting offered English lessons by a Mormon missionary’

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