Lugang Mazu Temples

Ha my camera is bigger than yours. It takes in so much more history.
This is Lugang, Zhanghua, possibly Michael・s favorite town in Taiwan.
Well, one of them. But Lugang is really where I fell in love with Taiwan. This town is so historic, and it・s full of beautiful temples.
Historic is the word, so today we・re visiting Tianhou Temple, a Mazu temple that・s about 290 years old and the center of worship in Lugang.
Wow that sounds wonderful.
This Mazu temple was built in 1725, when trade between Taiwan and China picked up. Mazu the goddess, she is the protector of people who live near the sea, or who have to sail on the sea, for example, fishermen. But before she became a goddess, she was a real person - a young woman who threw herself into the sea.
I know this story. Her name was Lin Mo-niang, right? She threw herself into the sea to save her father. That・s so different from the way we would think about it where I come from. And then even more strangely, she became a goddess of the sea, and not a goddess of filial piety.
Come to think of it, yeah huh. But in any case, people worshipped her, made statues of her, built temples for her, and there is this one saying where in the original Mazu temple in Fujian, there were six Mazu statues, one came to Taiwan with the troops of the Qing dynasty - it・s the one you see here - and the five that remained in China were actually destroyed before or during the Cultural Revolution. So out of the six, this is the only one left in the world.
Michael, there are a ton of historical temples in Lugang, but next I want to show you a new one.
A new one? What kind of temple?
Another Mazu temple.
Can・t get too many of those.
Lugang makes me poetic. I've been coming here 25 years and I love this place. For me, Lugang mirrors the changes that I see in Taiwan since I・ve been here. It started with oxen and wooden carts and now it・s LED・s and glass, it・s really amazing. I・ll tell you one thing that hasn・t changed - the warmth and friendship of the people of Lugang.
And that・s why you should come.
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