Temples in Taoyuan Promote Online Temple Visiting Amidst COVID-19 中元普渡桃園推線上祭祀 避免群聚與移動

The Ghost Festival has been an important folk custom in Taiwan, with a new twist this year in Taoyuan. Two important local temples are working to replace joss paper burning with offering rice sacrifices, which are edible, and cut down on PM2.5 concentration.


This vending machines contains rice packaged as creative and cultural goods. Worshippers can enter the number of the product they want and insert merit tokens to receive a packet of "safe and sound" rice. This transaction takes the place of burning joss paper, and the worshippers can also enjoy the rice once they get home.

Wang Chieh-his, Chairperson, Zhongli Renhai Temple:” By using vending machines during this epidemic situation, we're cutting down on occasions where personnel will have to touch things. After we finish burning incense, praying for blessings, and making sacrifices, we can take the rice home to eat.” 

Zhongli Renhai Temple has closed its furnaces and no longer burns joss paper in the name of environmental protection. The temple and another important one in Taoyuan City, Jingfu Temple, helped the Taoyuan City's Department of Environmental Protection to integrate the installation of vending machines where rice replaces joss paper and temple cultural and creative goods. Temple culture has been innovated, and the risk of infection has been decreased. These actions simultaneously attend to environmental protection and disease prevention 

The Ghost Festival is an important folk custom in Taiwan. This year, due to the epidemic situation, the department is asking people to make sacrifices virtually to avoid crowds and unnecessary movements.

Chang Shu-hao, Section Director, Dept. of Env. Protection, Taoyuan City:” The online sacrifice offering system allows people to make more use of the Internet and less use of the streets. They can offer eco-friendly sacrifices in the comfort of their own homes.”

The department says it has been promoting eco-friendly sacrifices through its "3R" philosophy of respect, replace, and reduce, and there have been concrete results. The average PM2.5 concentration was reduced to 13.6 micrograms per cubic meter in 2020, a new record low for the city. This level was also lower than the national standard.

 

 

有中壢媽還有財神爺,販賣機裡擺滿了討喜的文創米,信眾按下選好的號碼,投入功德金,就可以獲得一小包平安米,代替紙錢焚燒,祭拜後也能帶回家食用保平安。

中壢仁海宮董事長 王介禧:「現在防疫期間我們用販賣機的方式,來呈現的話,減少人員觸摸(物品)的動作,我們上香祈福拜完後,可以把這個平安米拿回去吃平安。」

中壢仁海宮金爐已封,不燒金紙了,針對環保祭祀,桃園又有新招,環保局在中壢仁海宮和桃園景福宮兩間大廟推動,以米代金販賣機和宮廟文創結合,創新宗廟文化,也減少物品觸摸傳染風險,兼顧環保和防疫。又中元普渡是台灣民間重要傳統習俗,受疫情影響,桃園市環保局也推線上祭祀,避免群聚和不必要的移動。

桃市環保局空保科長 張書豪:「線上的祭祀系統,讓大家可以多用網路、少用馬路,然後在家就可以上網,來進行環保祭祀的作為。」

環保局表示,長期以尊敬(Respect)、替代(Replace)、少量(Reduce) 的3R理念推動環保祭祀,也看到成效,空氣中PM2.5年平均濃度,去年已降到每立方公尺13.6微克,創下桃園歷史新低,也低於國家標準值。

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