Kinmen's Matsu Pilgrimage Mission Takes Direct Course to Maizhou for Religious Interchange
Immediately following the conclusion of the sacrificial(6) ceremony, the delegation from Kinmen boarded a chartered boat to Putien. In the evening Putien City Committee held a reception(7) for Kinmen and Putien representatives. The interaction was enthusiastic.(8) Their shared faith in Matsu brought the guests and hosts closer than ever. All agreed to have more frequent interchanges to keep the friendship strong and long-lasting.
In the morning of the 12th, Kinmen County Magistrate Li Zhu Feng and Kinmen County Council Chairman Xie Yi Zhang escorted(9) the nine Matsu statues from seven Kinmen temples to Quanzhou Tienhou Temple. The Matsu statues from both sides of Taiwan Strait were seated together to receive the offering and worship of believers from both sides of Taiwan Strait. To welcome the delegates from Kinmen, the Matsu Shrine of Tienhou Temple presented its magnificent gong(10) and drum team and held a seating ceremony for the Matsu statues. In appreciation of Matsu's protection of Kinmen, the county government and council and the ten Matsu temples from Kinmen each prepared a cash offering to Matsu.
Following the accomplishment of all its objectives on the 12th, the Meizhou Matsu Pilgrimage Mission returned to Kinmen in the afternoon. It was a journey of thanksgiving, says Kinmen County Magistrate Li Zhu Feng, a journey to thank Matsu for safeguarding(11) people living in Kinmen and giving them many blessings. Kinmen County Council Chairman Xie Yi Zhang indicates the mission successfully knitted together Kinmen and Meizhou's Matsu cultures.
■10. gong-(n)鑼、銅鑼。gong and drum就是鑼與鼓。