Matsu Cultural Festival Kicks-off with Major Procession in Downtown Taipei
Mayor Ko Wen-je presided over the opening ceremony of the 2017 Northern Taiwan Matsu Cultural Festival at the North Gate Plaza on September 25.During the ceremony, the mayor served as one of the bearers carrying the palanquin of the Golden Face Matsu as the procession made its way through the North Gate into downtown Taipei.The mayor expressed his gratitude to all organizations and agencies taking part in the event. On behalf of the citizens, he welcomed the representatives from 26 temples across Taiwan to the city. He noted that in fact, this specific pilgrimage has been going on for 129 years, with Matsu being relocated to the new temple in Sanzhi 104 years ago. Since 2004, the homecoming of the Golden Face Matsu has become a major event for the North Gate.Noting that Shilin Cixian Temple will serve as the host for this year’s event, Ko added that there will be a series of activities in both the neighborhood around North Gate and Shilin District. The Golden Face Matsu will remain in Zhongzheng District between September 25 and 29. She will stay in Shilin for 9 days starting on September 29. There will be a major parade for the goddess before she heads back on October 7.At the end of his address, the mayor remarked that this year marks the 14th year of the Matsu Cultural Festival. He also expressed his thanks to this year’s host Shilin Cixian Temple and all participating temples. He wished the best and good health for all members of the audience.