Opened in 1590, the Lugang Tian Hou Gong Mazu (Matsu) Temple was the first Mazu temple and statue in Taiwan.
This remarkable place has an electric energy and is always filled with worshippers and visitors alike. It is a must see on any temple tour of Taiwan.
Upon entering the temple from the center of the Lugang Old Street, visitors can feel the spirital hum of the temple and smell the wafts of incessantly burning incense from inside. The building is several hundred years old and is a true relic of Taiwan history.
The statue of Mazu inside the temple was carried from China's Fujian Province in 1683. This is where Mazu was born in 960 AD. Here, paper money offerings are laid out on the main table in the center of the temple.
These paper money offerings can be bought right inside the gate of the temple from different people sitting along the wall. They are 100NT. You can also buy them inside the temple just inside the doorways.
Once you have your paper money, you can take out the incense from the packets, light them at a gas burner inside, and then, starting from the right, make your way clockwise around the temple taking time to bow at each deity statue and leaving incense sticks at each urn.
The number of incense sticks you leave in each urn is different. Sometimes, 1, 2, or 3. It's good to have a guide. But the last 3 sticks should be left at the center urn of the temple.
When Mazu was born in 960, her parents knew she was a special child. At age 16, a deity from a well gave her special powers and she worked hard to learn more about the Taoist religion. When she was 28, she left home and climbed to the top of a high cliff overlooking the ocean. She then disappeared and has been seen as a Goddess of the Sea since then.
The temple has two floors and their are deities on each floor to worship. You don't need to buy incense. You can simple head to the main statue of Mazu on the first floor, put your hands together and bow 3 times.
The spraying fountain is located in the back end of the temple.
Green dragons sit on the rooves of the temple to keep bad spirits away.
A history of the temple is described inside the temple. You can learn more about the temple at www.lugangmazu.org.
The artwork within the temple is old and very Chinese.
The stone reliefs are made by Taiwan artisans.