月下老人, the Taiwanese god of romance
His legend is as follows:
In the Tang Dynasty a man named Wei Gu found an old man sitting under a tree during a full moon. This man was holding a thick book and a bag full of red strings. Wei Gu asked this man who he was and why he had those objects. Yue Lao (月下老人) said that in his book is the list of all the marriages that have been/are/will be, and the red strings are used to bind soulmates together. Wei Gu didn't believe in Yue Lao's power so Yue Lao pointed out a nanny caring a baby. He said that the baby will be Wei Gu's future wife. Wei Gu didn't like that idea so he ordered his servant to stab the baby to death. Years later Wei Gu ends up marrying the baby, because she wasn't fatally wounded in the attack.
Now people pay respects to 月下老人 in order to ask him to help find their soulmates, or to help improve their current relationships. In Taipei there is one famous temple near DiHuaJie called 霞海城隍廟. This particular temple is famous for a faster working 月下老人. So I went to check it out!
|This is the temple!|
|Special money for the god|
|This is where 月下老人is! Can you see him? He's on the lower left hand side.|
At the very end you put your incense in the holder at the entrance to the temple and drink specially brewed tea and cookies. Then don't forget to take the red thread and holding it in your hand make a circle three times clockwise over the holder of incense. You have to keep this thread on you at all times after this, and once you get married you have to send special marriage cakes to the temple to thank 月下老人。
|This is the incense burner at the entrance of the temple|
|This is the special Blessed Tea|
|My red thread is in this nice pouch and I keep it in my cellphone pouch all the time. ;)|
So what did I wish for and has my wish come true yet???? You'll see in the next entry! ;)
Here are some more pictures of the temple!
|Even men came to pay respects! It's usually stereotyped that only women come here to worship.|