How to Pray

How to Pray

[ May, 2015 ] We revisited Taipei in Taiwan.

This time, it was a short trip celebrating the birthday of a family member.

On arrival, we started sightseeing with a guide.

The first destination was Longshan Temple, which we visited last time, too.

As before, there were so many people there in the rain, though it was not a festival or anything.

Mr.Kou, our guide, told us how to pray.

First, you put your offerings on the table and buy incense sticks.

Then you light them and go to the main building and pray for Guayin (a Buddhist deity) and Pangu (Taoism god).

The interesting thing is that, before praying, you have to say your name, address and date of birth to the god.

In the end, you put the incense sticks to the incense burner stand.

This is one set of prayers.

There were other gods enshrined behind Guayin.

They are more specialised in each field, such as health, study, business development, self-employment, sea, marriage and so on.

Taiwanese people pray very realistically and concretely.

For example, when they pray for success in an exam, they will offer the copy of the exam ticket to the god.

There were pieces of wood in the shape of an ear and a lip near the entrance.

These are the media to have conversation with gods.

People take two pieces together in hands, like shown in the photo, and ask god for the answer to the things they cannot decide themselves.

Then, they drop these pieces of wood down to the floor.

Depending on which side of the wooden pieces come to the front, the god’s answer would be “yes”, “no”, or “your question is not clear” .

Interesting, isn’t it!

After a while, all the believers started singing.

It was a simple comfortable melody.