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Cyhcg Fenqtain Gong Matsu Pilgrimage Procession in Lantern Festival-Xingang Township
Last Change Time:2016-04-14Published by:Planning Section
Cyhcg Fenqtain Gong Matsu Pilgrimage Procession in Lantern Festival-Xingang Township_Title Picture

Xingang was called “Mayuanliao” because sesame crops were widely planted here during the Qing dynasty. At first, it was called “Benxinnangang” and then simplified to “Xinnangang” and finally to “Xingang” today. Because there were a lot of places called Xingang during the Japanese Colonial Period, the name of the township was changed to “Xinxiangzhuang”. Not until the WWII ended was the name changed to “Xingang” again. Accordingly, it can be known from the development of the name that “Xingang” and “Bengang” have close relationship. We know that Xingang is Bengang from the history, cultural pieces and origins of residents. Zhangzhou residents move to Xingang by groups because of disasters, and thus Xingang can be seen as extended community of Bengang.

Liu Din Gou, a fisherman, escorted the Matsu statue from Tianfei Temple in Meizhou to Taiwan in 1621 and traveled across the dangerous “Black Ditch” (Taiwan Strait) by boat. When they passed Bengang, Matsu presented to give instructions: Stay here forever. Since then, residents in Bengang have worshipped Matsu and call her “Chuanzaima”.

In 1700 (39th year of Kangxi period), residents in Bengang raised funds to build a temple in the south of Bengang Stream and named it “Tianhou (Matsu) Temple”. In Qianlong period, Bengang Stream diverted and divided Bengang City into two parts. The Northern part is called “Benbeigang” and the southern part is called “Bennangang”. According to Zhulou County Records, Bengang was one of the most prosperous cities in Taiwan and Tianhou Temple in Bengang attracted the most Matsu followers. However, in Jiaqing period, Bengang Stream overflowed and destroyed the city, putting Bengang Tianhou Temple in a critical situation. Master Jinrui was the abbot. He led to move the divine statues and documents to “Mayuanliao” (Xingang today) at higher altitude and Bennangang gradually declined and fell due to disasters and calamities.

Most Bennangang residents came from rich family. They not only brought fortune and literatures but also changed Mayuanliao to “Benxinnangang” in memory of their origin and build a temple on “White Crane Location” as a spiritual center for Bengang residents-Bengang Matsu Temple. He’s family owned the land and generously donated the land for building the temple. After 12 years of construction, the temple was finally completed in 1811 (16th year of Jiaqing period). The marine general, Wang De Lu, reported to the Emperor to give the temple a name: Fengtian Gong. Bengang Matsu Temple continue to thrive in Xingang and becomes one of the Matsu believes in Taiwan.
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  • Xingang Township of Chiayi County
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  • Cyhcg Fenqtain Gong Board
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