By TraNews Reporter Lo, Hui Wen CHIAYI COUNTY, Taiwan (TraNews) - Xingang Fengtian Temple is one of the famous temples in Taiwan. The seventh lunar month regarded as Ghost Month. On 1st of July (lunar calendar), Taiwanese call that day is “opening of the ghost gate”. Because of ghost month, Xingang Fengtian Temple would seal the bell during this month in order to respect ancestors as well as ghosts and stop ringing the bell for not to startle them.
The history of seal bell has already existed for centuries. The main god of Xingang Fengtian Temple is Kai Tai Mazu who stays in Taiwan more than 392 years. Seal bell in the seventh lunar month represents Mazu’s great mercy for the homeless ghosts because Mazu doesn’t want tohurt them. Every 1st, 15th and the last three days of lunar month, Xingang Fengtian Temple would ring the bell in the morning and evening to show their respects for god. However, it would be stopped during the seventh lunar month.
The ritual of seal bell would be held on 30th of June (lunar month); the people of Xingang Fengtian Temple would give a recitation for Mazu Scriptures. It could bless and protect disciples. After the ritual, Xingang Fengtian Temple would not set off firecrackers and stop read scriptures in the whole seventh lunar month until the 1st of August (lunar month).
According to the convention of Chungyuan Festival, Taiwanese will prepare a lot of oblations to worship ancestors and ghosts and burn much ghost money as their pocket money in order to avoid disaster. Now only in Xingang Fengtian Temple still follow the traditional way to seal the bell by human, others change it for using electric bells.