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Biyun Temple, Sanlung TempleThe people in Liuqiu are very religious and they are especially keen at building temples. There are 60 to 70 temples of various sizes on the island.

As most of the ancestors of Liuqiu come from Quanzhou and Zhangzhou of Fujian, the gods worshiped on the island are local gods from these places. Although Christianity was brought to Liuqiu by the Dutch (there is still a Presbyterian Church on the island), Catholicism was brought by the Spanish, Shinto (Catholicism and Sikhism) and Buddhism (Tiantai Zong and Zhen Zong) were brought by the Japanese, these religions died out as the political scene changed and the original gods of Liuqiu were restored. The people in the township believed in different gods but they are equally sincere and they really believe that the gods can determine everything. They pray to the gods for cure sicknesses, ship-building, fishing in the ocean, marriage date selection, funeral time selection, house-building, renovation, new house completion, etc. They basically ask the gods for guidance in everything in their lives.

Since they earn their living from the ocean, they are risking their lives all the time. Praying to the gods is the only thing they can do to hope that the gods will protect them and give them a smooth ride in life. Therefore, their degree of religious belief is based on their living environment and they do not have many other choices. They spend a lot on worshiping the gods especially on the Birthday of Guanyin on February 19 of the lunar calendar every year when all the residents on the island get into a frenzied stage of worship. They thank Guanyin with elaborate ceremonies and dramas in every single temple of each village, and this festival lasts for 50 to 60 days. This is one of the major events on the island and it has had a great impact on economic development. All the residents of Liuqiu will return to their villages and take part in "Welcoming the King" event which is held once every three years. This is the most important festival in the township.

Last Update: 2009/11/17    Visited: 6905    Return to Page Top

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