Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Taiwan Day 8: Longshan Temple

 This was my last day in Taiwan.  My grandma had to do volunteer work in the morning and Gina was gone at work too.  So, I had decided to go sight seeing at a few places.  My little aunt wanted to meet me at the Longshan temple to take me around and show me the sights.  Longshan in direct translation is "Dragon Mountain."  This is one of the more prestigious temples in Taiwan.  It is heavily decorated and my aunt was telling me that the more prestigious the temple the more decorations it has.  The temple houses many statues of the gods that the Buddhists worship and there were many people there burning incense, spiritual money, making food offerings, etc.  There was a god of fertility, a god of education, a god of economic success, etc.  and the main Guanyin.  I saw many many people offering prayers up to these different idols and it was really quite an interesting experience.
 So here,people say their prayers underneath the sky lantern and the idea is that the sky lantern will carry it up to the gods for them.

 My aunt explained to me that not all temples have the same "guardians" at the edges of the roofs and that you can tell that this temple was prestigious because they were allowed to have dragons and phoenixes on the roofs.  If the temple was not as old or prestigious they are not allowed to have such decorations.
I swear every wall, every window, every niche of this place had amazing carvings everywhere.  I have a lot more pictures but these should give a good idea.

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