Once a year, followers of the goddess of Mazu participate in a pilgrimage to honor this goddess of the sea. The procession has been a tradition since 1863. This year still promises to be a festive and crowded event, despite the recent COVID outbreak.
Here at the Gongtian Temple, followers of the goddess of Mazu at Baishatun in Miaoli County get ready to follow her on a special pilgrimage to the Chaotian Temple in Yunlin County.
The procession will begin on Friday, but preparations begin with worship of the Mazu flag during the next few days. Mr. Lin, a manager at the Gongtian Temple, says that in the next three days, Mazu followers will prepare their hearts and minds for the annual pilgrimage
This year nearly 100,000 have signed up for the roughly 400 kilometer journey. All of them have had a booster shot. That’s even more than the 78,000 who participated last year. There are over 6,500 vehicles participating in the procession, which is over three times more than last year.
Mr. Hung Wen-hua of the Gongtian Temple says the procession will be especially long and crowded this year and reminds the public to put safety first by wearing masks and practicing social distancing.