By TTNews Reporter Chiang, Po-Chang
CHANGHUA, TAIWAN (TTNews) – Mazu is the goddess of sea who protects fishermen and sailors, which is immensely worshipped by the western coastal areas of Taiwan. Thus, Mazu belief can be said to be inseparable from the people of Taiwan’s daily life. Back in the early days, the relationship between Mazu belief and local development was quite subtle since people were drawn here to enjoy a tantalizing array of traditional snacks and local specialties aside from making offerings of incense and praying to the goddess of sea.
In the Qing Dynasty, Beidou Township was ranked as one of the four cities in Taiwan. Nestled on Douyuan Road in Beidou, Changhua, Dian-an Temple dedicated to Mazu has witnessed the prime of Beidou Township for all these years.
Dian-an Temple, formerly known as Tianhou Temple (Temple of the Queen of Heaven), was relocated from Dongluo Street. In 1805, the temple and Dongluo Street was constantly under the destruction of pirates; hence, the local elders and scholars proposed to relocate the residents of Dongluo Creek and the temple.
At that time, Beidou became an important maritime and inland river transit hub and was a chief business district in Changhua. In order to express their gratitude towards Mazu’s blessing, the local scholars suggested that Tianhou Temple should be renamed as Dian-an Temple in honor of Mazu.
Dian-an Temple is also the only third-class historical site recognized by Ministry of the Interior in Beidou Township. The temple is exquisitely decorated with refined wood carvings. The temple has enjoyed great popularity even since it was build over 200 years ago during the Qing Dynasty and remains one of the most prominent religious centers in Changhua.