By TTNews Reporter Chu Yu-Rong
Yunlin County, Taiwan –
Chaotien Temple, situated in Beigang Township, Yunlin County, is the religious center of the locals. During the annual temple festival, it is always crowed with people from everywhere. Coming here, you will be able to see the glove puppetry show, traditional painting, paper sculpture, grass and Chinese knots handicrafts. Besides folk arts, there are still many great masters hidden here!
Such as the owner of “Four Five Etiquette Supplies Store”, Wu Chao-Hui, has carried on her mother-in-law’s traditional medicine bag handcraft. Now she is the third generation. Her neat and dexterous hands have created numerous children’s and adults’ favourite medicine bags and amulets
Ms. Wu Chao-Hui indicated that May is a hot and humid month and also the thriving season of plague and epidemic disease. The aroma of wormwood can get rid of mosquitoes. Thus, the medicine bag usually contains at least ten kinds of herbals and spices, inclduing realgar, wormwood, sandalwood, agalwood, fennel, banyan, hibiscus, etc.
In traditional customs, the bride will give away her hand-sewed sachet as gift to all her friends and relatives, symbolizing the safe birth, which is one of the rituals. Moreover, the newborn infants under one year old will also have to wear sachet on their wrist on Duanwu Festival, meaning a peaceful year. However, these traditional customs have gradually disappeared in nowadays.
A wide range of sachet styles hanging on children’s chest just like amulets to protect them from evil. Sometimes, you will see people hanging sachets outside the houses. Each sachet contains a different form of the blessing. Such as five tigers mean the forthcoming fortunes and the seeds of golden melon represent more grandchildren. The most popular icon probably is the little tiger on the behalf of Chaotien Temple’s tiger.
Beigang temple on the one hand is the religious center of the local people, but it is also the place where breeds rich folk cultures. Next time going on a trip to Beigang, don’t forget to enjoy the rich cultural value of traditional handicrafts!
English and Chinese
Chaotien Temple: 朝天宮
Four Five Etiquette Supplies Store: 四五禮俗用品店
【人文】玩樂北港 針線情傳三代 薪傳童趣傳統工藝