Shejiao's century-old traditions: welcoming Matsu's protection

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The tradition of welcoming Matsu pilgrimages into the community of Shejiao in Taichung’s Dadu Township started over a century ago. The story goes that after a plague spread along the banks of the Dadu River, Matsu devotees prayed for the deity’s blessings and, over time, the plague gradually disappeared. Devotees believed it was thanks to the deity’s benevolence. Since that time, on the 20th day of April in the Lunar calendar each year, the community has welcomed Matsu pilgrimages to ensure the continued blessings and protection of the deity. 

 

The annual event welcoming the local Matsu pilgrimage has built a strong sense of community in Shejiao. During Matsu pilgrimages, in addition to the tiring work of carrying the deity’s palanquin, generous members of the public prepare food along the route and offer it free to pilgrims to replenish their energy. Though people many not know each other at the beginning of the event, by the end of it, they have become good friends. Some give their time and effort, while others give money, each using their own way to do their bit for the community.

 

以下為中文對照

 

社腳百年傳統 迎媽祖保平安

台中大肚的社腳社區,有一項至今已有百年歷史的傳統習俗—迎媽祖繞境活動。因一百多年前,大肚溪沿岸曾有瘟疫傳染,當時信眾向媽祖祈求,並在信眾的努力下,瘟疫漸漸的消退了,信眾相信是因為眾神的德助,故而在每年的農曆四月初一至二十日,透過迎神繞境活動,繼續為民祈福消災。

 

迎媽祖繞境活動,也讓整個社區變得更有凝聚力。繞境過程除了辛苦的扛轎居民外,在路途中,會有居民準備食物,提供給參與繞境的信眾,補充體力。也許剛開始彼此互不熟識,但因為這個活動,將大家聚集在此。無論是付出勞力或是金錢,社區居民各自都在用自己的方式,來為社腳社區付出。

 

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Shejiao's century-old traditions: welcoming Matsu's protection

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