A temple in southwestern Taiwan has launched a small-scale pilgrimage centered on the sea goddess Mazu this week. That’s amid a sudden rise in the number of domestic COVID-19 cases. Some were unhappy to see less-than-strict adherence to COVID-19 prevention rules during the procession.
Feng Tian Temple in Chiayi launched a religious procession centered on the sea goddess Mazu on May 10. But as the seven-day event got underway, Taiwan saw a sudden increase in the number of domestic COVID-19 cases. A resident of one area the procession passes through asks why such an event should take place at a time like this. She says this event could have been postponed until next year. She also says that while most participants were wearing masks, not all were wearing them properly over their noses and mouths.
Still, it seems that social-distancing rules were followed. The temple management says it’s made sure to scale down the size of the event, too. Originally they were expecting about 5,000 attendees on the last day of the event. Now, though, they have told those planning to come in from other parts of Taiwan not to come. They have even cut down from the number of workers accompanying the palanquin from 200 to just about seven or eight.
The temple management says it will cancel the remainder of the event immediately if the government raises its COVID-19 alert level from level 2 to level 3, a move that would mean that no outdoor gatherings with more than ten people will be allowed.