Travels in Sinshih
Religious centers and ceremonies
Sinshih Yong An Gong
Yong An Gong of Sinshih District has a history of only about 148 years. Tianshang Shengmu (Divine Heavenly Empress) is the chief deity of the temple and could be traced back to the Muzha Mazu from Taijiang Lagoon. In 2009, the temple administra- tion invested significant efforts in discovering the roots of the temple. Research papers and publications by Dr. Chu Hung-yuan from the Department of Political Science of National Taiwan University helped establish a link in the historical origins of modern day Yong An Gong with Muzagang Tianfei Si (Temple of the Divine Lady of Muzha Harbor). The resulting evidence allowed Yong An Gong to be recognised as the first Temple of Taijiang and a continuation of the divine shrine of Tianfei Si, making the Temple over three centuries old. Muza Harbor is located on the east coast of Taijiang Lagoon near modern day Southern Taiwan Science Park Tree Valley area. Muzha Harbor had a long history, and served as an important waterway to Tainan City during the Dutch Colonial Era and late Ming Dynasty. Tianfei Si, dedicated to the worship of God- dess Mazu, was the most famous temple in the area and enjoyed a great number dona- tions and devotees. The area thus had the potential of becoming a religious center in the east coast of Taijiang Lagoon. However, flooding and pestilence eventually forced the people to abandon this settlement. The residents moved elsewhere, with many settling down in what is today downtown Sinshih District. The holy image of Goddess Mazu was also moved during this exodus, marking the beginning of the new Yong An Gong temple.
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