Kinmen's Matsu Pilgrimage Mission Takes Direct Course to Maizhou for Religious Interchange
On April 10 the "Meizhou Matsu Pilgrimage(1) Mission" organized by representatives from different sectors of Kinmen took a direct course to Meizhou, beginning a three-day-two-night religious exchange that included Putien and Quanzhou.
Around 7:00 AM on the 10th, under the leadership of Kinmen County Council Chairman Xie Yi Zhang and County Magistrate Li Zhu Feng, the 180-pilgrim mission set out for(2 ) Meizhou, with Dama, Arma, Sanma and Shengmuma from the Tienhou Temple Matsu Association and Liaoluo Shunzi Temple, as well as Matsu statues, flags and patrol teams.
To greet the pilgrimage mission arriving directly from Kinmen, Meizhou Matsu Temple mobilized nearly six hundred people for a grand welcome ceremony.
The local government of Meizhou organized a reunion meeting, in which Kinmen County Magistrate Li Zhu Feng indicated that since Meizhou and Kinmen share similar geographical environments and religious practices, that the two places should learn from each other and interact frequently, so both places might be freed, he hoped, from the historical tragedies of the islands and the bondage of political realities.
In concurrence,(3) Kinmen County Council Chairman Xie Yi Zhang agreed that he has seen many similarities between Meizhou and Kinmen. The marine course of this pilgrimage, he says, is to witness the worship and devotion(4) of the Matsu culture. He also would like to see more interchanges between the two places.
On the 11th, the pilgrimage mission attended the great celebration of Meizhou Matsu Temple. Conducted in accordance with(5) the established ancient practices, the entire ceremony was both solemn and magnificent. Kinmen County Government and Council offered tablets to Meizhou Matsu Temple: Kinmen County Magistrate Li Zhu Feng presented the "Motherly Grace Saving All" tablet, and Kinmen County Council Chairman Xie Yi Zhang presented the "Heavenly Will Helping All" tablet. Leaders of Kinmen County Government and Council also donated NTD 660,000 to the parent temple. The offering was received by Mr. Lin Jin Bang, chairman of Meizhou Matsu Temple board of directors.
■2. set out for-出發至～。
■5. in accordance with-遵照；遵循；與～一致。