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與神同行 逗陣來瘋媽祖The Mazu Pilgrimage—A Birthday Fit for a Goddess

迪士尼有小美人魚,我們有「海上女神」—馬祖
APR. 05, 2021
Enjoy Editors

文章難易度 3.5 顆星

 深入台灣  4 分鐘閱讀

Chris, Antony

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This Taiwanese tradition has stood the test of time. 這項臺灣的傳統歷久不衰。

與神同行 逗陣來瘋媽祖The Mazu Pilgrimage—A Birthday Fit for a Goddess

Taiwan has many religious festivals. Some are short and simple. Others may involve a little food and music. Then there’s the Mazu Pilgrimage, which lasts over a week, covers hundreds of kilometers, and draws thousands of pilgrims.

臺灣有許多宗教節慶。有的歷時不長、儀式簡單。其他則牽扯到一些食物和音樂。然後就是為期超過一個星期、行經距離長達數百公里,且吸引成千名香客的媽祖遶境了。

stand the test of time  禁得起時間的考驗
pilgrimage [ ˈpɪlgrmɪdʒ ] n. 朝聖之旅
pilgrim [ ˈpɪlgrɪm ] n. 朝聖者,香客

與神同行 逗陣來瘋媽祖The Mazu Pilgrimage—A Birthday Fit for a Goddess
source: WEI LING CHANG / Shutterstock.com

The Mazu Pilgrimage is like an enormous birthday celebration for Mazu, who is known as the “Goddess of the Sea.” Featured in countless myths and legends, Mazu is believed to be a girl from a small fishing village in Fujian. Legend has it that she used her spiritual powers to rescue her family members when their boat was caught in a typhoon. No wonder she is viewed as the guardian of fishermen!

媽祖是眾人熟知的「海上女神」,而媽祖遶境就像是為祂所舉行的盛大慶生活動。媽祖出現在無數的神話和傳說中,一般相信祂是來自福建一座小漁村的女子。傳說當她家人的船隻遭颱風肆虐時,她施展神力解救了她的家人。難怪祂被認為是漁民的守護者!

countless [ ˈkaʊntlɪs ] a. 無數的
Legend has it that + 子句  傳說……
guardian [ ˈgɑrdɪən ] n. 守護者

與神同行 逗陣來瘋媽祖The Mazu Pilgrimage—A Birthday Fit for a Goddess
source: Jutinan Jujinda / Shutterstock.com

So why is there a long pilgrimage on land in her honor? Several hundred years ago, a family of settlers moved from Fujian to what is now the city of Taichung. They brought a statue of Mazu with them and later a temple was built around it. Every 12 years, worshippers would take the statue back to its original home in Fujian. However, when Taiwan was under Japanese rule, travel across the Taiwan Strait was blocked. As an alternative, the worshippers picked a river port temple within Taiwan as a destination. The pilgrimage has grown in popularity over the years and today is an important aspect of Taiwanese folk religion.

那麼為何在陸地上有著如此長距離的遶境行程來敬奉祂呢?幾百年前,來自福建的某個開墾家族移居到了現在的臺中市。他們帶來了一尊媽祖神像,接著有人便以此建祠。信徒每十二年就會把這尊神像帶回福建的原祠進香。然而在臺灣受日本統治期間,臺灣海峽兩岸的海路交通受阻。為了尋找替代方案,香客遂選擇了臺灣本地的一個河港宮廟作為進香地點。媽祖遶境活動長年下來越來越興盛,如今已是臺灣民間信仰重要的一環。

settler [ ˈsɛtlɚ ] n.(外來的)移居者,開拓者
worshipper [ ˈwɝʃɪpɚ ] n. 敬神者,信奉者
strait [ stret ] n. 海峽

 

媽祖遶境尋根溯源
  媽祖,亦稱「天上聖母」,相傳為宋朝女子林默娘。關於其生平已神格化,不論是生前或昇天後都有許多傳說及神蹟。據傳媽祖的隨從千里眼、順風耳都能救難於千里之外。這些關於媽祖的種種神奇事蹟給予了人們一股精神上的安定力量。
  媽祖遶境活動更是將這樣的信仰昇華,進而成為了一種全民活動。關於大甲鎮瀾宮媽祖遶境進香活動的起源,有一說是清朝福建湄洲嶼林姓一家人來臺拓墾,定居於大甲堡,並將隨行的湄洲朝天閣天上聖母香火安奉在自家廳堂,接著當地士紳將香火遷移至現址建祠,且每十二年前往福建湄州的朝天閣進香。日治時期因海線交通阻隔,大甲媽祖才轉向北港朝天宮「割火進香」,爾後又於民國七十七年改為遶境至新港。如今,媽祖遶境不僅被 Discovery Channel 認為是世界三大宗教盛事之一,聯合國教科文組織也將其列入人類非物質文化遺產(Intangible Cultural Heritage)的代表名錄中。媽祖遶境從以前就吸引不只臺灣還有海外的群眾參與,此活動除了顯現信眾對於信仰的熱情,參與的過程也帶來了心靈上的震撼感受。
 

接著閱讀

鹽水蜂炮 ── 越炸越旺、好運一直來 Yanshui Fengpao Fireworks Festival
臺灣最強平民美食 ── 滷肉飯 Lu Rou Fan: The Cheapest Ticket to Taste Bud Heaven
Xpark 水族館在桃園 Xpark Aquarium

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