Chinese Valentine’s Day is a traditional holiday which means a lot in Chinese tradition. Falls on the seventh day of the seventh month of the lunar calendar, it is also known as “The Begging Festival” in Chinese tradition.
It’s the story that the seventh daughter of the Emperor of Heaven, the Weaving Maid, and an orphaned cowherd were separated by the Emperor; the girl was forced to move to the star Vega and the cowherd, to the star Altair. They were only allowed to meet on the magpie bridge over the Milky Way once a year on the day of seventh day of seventh lunar month, Chinese Valentine’s Day.
There are lots of things can do on this day! For couples, having an amazing and romantic date with your lover and buy a gift for him/her is the routine just like what we usually do on Valentine’s Day. You might want to give me a supercilious look if you are a single. Well, in Taiwan, Singles also can do something on this special day. I’m going to help you make a short trip in Tainan, the county in south Taiwan. I bet you can have a different Chinese Valentine’s Day this time.
If you have once come to Taiwan, you’ll find out that there are lots of temples which serves different gods every where. Among these gods, there is a god called Chinese Cupid(Yue Lao), God of Matchmaking, who does the jobs which familiar to Cupid’s. With signature white beard and flushed cheeks, the god is often portrayed as an old man with a cane in one hand and the Pairng Book in the other. Yue Lao is the god who in charge of marriage. People believe that there is an invisible red string tied on the little finger and on the other side of the string is your destined person. Couples will go to the temple to pray Yue Lao for forever love and singles will pray for finding their destined person.
Every year, people will vote for the most efficacious temples of Yue Lao in Taiwan. According to the result, there are 4 temples in Tainan always in the top 10. Let’s take a look of these temples and make a short trip to Tainan! You’ll love this traditional county.
TAINAN GRAND MATSU TEMPLE(#3)
Tainan Grand Matsu Temple is a national first-class monument. It originated from the Ming Zheng Dynasties and is one of the best Mazu temples in Taiwan. Besides Matsu, Yue Lao that is enshrined in this temple is also well known due to his super power. According to the calculation, there are at least 300 pairs of newcomers thanks to the help of Yue Lao in Grand Matsu Temple each year. The specialty of Yue Lao here is helping singles find their true love and helping couples for deeper relationship. It’s especially suitable for couples to go together. If there is someone that turns you on, don’t forget to come to the temple and pray for the red string of Yue Lao. You need to bring the red string all day long. It’s said that if your red string disappears by itself, it means that Yue Lao has helped you find your true love.
TAINAN TUCHENG LUERHMEN TIANHOU TEMPLE(#7)
Originated from the 16th century, it was built for Matsu in Luerhmen bu Zheng Chenggong for the appreciation that Matsu helped the Zheng’s army defeated the Dutch. Tucheng Orthodox Luerhmen Matsu Temple is the only Matsu temple which has the largest scale of the construction area. Several activities will be held in specific holidays which makes this Matsu temple being a well-known sightseeing temple. More than 12,000 couples have been registered to marriage by the help of Yue Lao here shows the amazing power of the god. After praying Yue Lao, don’t forget to grab 2 candies for the best wishes from Yue Lao. You must eat them yourself or your luck for finding true love will be shared to others.
GUAN GONG TEMPLE(#8)
With an original construction date of 1665, Guan Gong Temple can claim to be one of the oldest temples in Taiwan dedicated to the deity Guan Gong, the god of justice, courage and loyalty, who is also called the “Easter God of War”. The temple was built in a serious image and the gods inside looks serious, too. Not only Guan Gong, Yue Lao in this temple is the most famous Yue Lao in Tainan. There is a mail box set in the temple. People come here to pray for marriage line or the luck in love, write down their wish on the letters and then send it to Yue Lao. It’s quite efficacious! By the way, Guan Gong temple has successfully completed the requirements and earned “English-Friendly” status. The fortune slips are translated into English which attracts foreign friends to visit!
GRAND GUANYIN PAVILION & OFFICIAL XING-YI TEMPLE(#9)
This hall of grand Guanyin pavilion is dedicated to Guanyin, with statues of various religious figures including Yue Lao and the Bodhidharma, a Buddhist monk who brought Zen Buddhism to China in the sixth century. As for Xing-yi temple, it’s dedicated to the Baosheng(Emperor) Dadi, a Chinese god of medicine worshiped in folk religion and Taoism. The figure of Yue Lao here has a big mouth, which make people believe that he’s really good at helping people find their love. When you visit Yue Lao, just tell the name, age, address you live, and the detailed description of your ideal mates to him. Those whose hopes are ultimately fulfilled may return with an offering of wedding cake and fruit.
Besides visiting these Yue Lao Temples, Tainan government has organized a series of “Chinese Valentine’s Day” activities. In these activities, you can create your own romantic trip in this traditional county, having a sweet dessert with elegant music and romantic atmosphere. I can bet you will love these activities and love Tainan!
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