The Dajia Mazu's pilgrimage has embarked on its return trip back to Jenn Lann Temple. Temple Chairperson Yen Ching-piao, Chiayi County Magistrate Weng Chang-liang and Feng Tian Temple Chairperson Ho Ta-huang officiated the ceremony by lighting firecracker, which signifies the start of the trip. The process was shortened to 30 minutes instead of 3 hours due to the coronavirus epidemic.
With incenses in their hands, Jenn Lann Temple Chairperson Yen Ching-piao, Chiayi County Magistrate Weng Chang-liang and Feng Tian Temple Chairperson Ho Ta-huang officiated the return ceremony for the Dajia Mazu Pilgrimage. Even wearing a face mask cannot hide his tiredness, Yen was in a long-sleeved white shirt while escorting Mazu's return trip with Weng.
After the worshipping and fruit offering ceremony, the two carefully escorted the Dajia Mazu statue out of the Feng Tian Temple altar. Surrounding pilgrims were taking photos and videos while others lengthened their arms, hoping to be blessed by the Mazu.
Weng and Yen, together with Legislator Chen Ming-wen escorted Mazu to the first intersection from the Feng Tian Temple, where Yen Ching-piao's son, Yen Kuan-heng took over the escort and speeded up the process. The Dajia Mazu Pilgrimage attracts thousands of pilgrims all over Taiwan every year, but due to the shortened preparation time this year, the pilgrims in Singang said only 20 percent of pilgrims attended the procession when compared with previous years.
In the past, pilgrims would light firecrackers and crawl underneath the Mazu's palanquin, but all of that were cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The whole process which used to take three hours to finish only took a little over 30 minutes to complete. The procession arrived at the Lunzi Bridge between Chiayi and Yunlin at 11pm. Dajia Mazu is expected to arrive back at the Dajia Jenn Lann Temple on June 20th and complete the nine-day and eight-night procession.