You can see that some locals wind their Lucky charms around the censer three times clockwise. By doing so, lucky charms will be more effective in blessing people with good luck.
Temples offer a way to predict one’s fortune and provide guidance by drawing out lots. After drawing a lot, one can seek a master in the temple to interpret it.
People will donate a small amounts of money to help with the maintenance of the temple and to promote the Buddhist culture. Because Longshan temple is one of the most popular temples in Taipei, it receives a considerable amount of incense money everyday.
People burn sticks of incense while worshiping, and then, one would put the incense into the censer. Usually, one stick of incense is placed in one censer. Sometimes, when worshiping very sincerely, people would kneel down three times and kowtow for nine times to show respect.
You may see some offerings on the table in front of the gods. In Taiwan, we often prepare fruits and cookies. It is a more sincere way people worship because it means that you treat the gods with those foods It is a tradition to use moon blocks to ask for guidance.
If the moon blocks land and end up one facing up and one facing down, it means the answer is yes to whatever question was asked to the gods.
Basic information of God and Goddess
(Left) This is the God of sea. Back to eighteenth century, there are many immigrants from Fujian province came to Taiwan. Since he protects people who crossed the Taiwan Strait, he is one of the most popular god among Taiwanese people.
(Right) Guanyin is an East Asian bodhisattva associated with compassion as venerated by Mahayana Buddhists. She is commonly known as the “Goddess of Mercy” in English. The Chinese name Guanyin is short for Guanshiyin, meaning “The One Who Perceives the Sounds of the World.”
(Left) This is the god of learning/studying. Before important exams, people will bring their admission tickets for test as well as stationary here to worship the gods.
(Right) The god of land guards local residents and the surroundings. In ancient times, believers were mainly farmers, but he gradually turned into the god of fortune as well.
(Left) The god of marriage holds a book that records the predestined marriages, and carries many marriage lines with him. He will use the marriage lines to combine those who are meant to be together by tying the marriage line on their fingers. Many people looking for their true love will come to worship and get a marriage line, and they will carry the line with them every day. It is said that when you finally find your true love, you will lose the marriage line by accident.
(Right) This God was a general famous for his strength and loyalty to the emperor he served more than one thousand years ago. Due to his loyalty and being good at financial management, businessmen will often worship this god.
The goddess is in charge of reproduction. It is believed that in Chinese culture coming to worship this goddess will bless people with a baby. Since Taiwan has the lowest birth rate, you can see there are fewer people worshipping this goddess. (just kidding)
The god is the local official, in charge of protection of this region, and in the old times, regions are usually separated by walls and castles. That’s how it got this name.
(Left) The god controlling of life after death. It usually can be seen at a place where fatal accident happens a lot…..
(Right) The god that is the professional in medication. Over a thousand years ago, when the medical skills were not so advanced, he was the one that invented Anesthesia and helped save many lives, including the life of the emperor.