Baishatun Mazu Pilgrimage is expecting attendance of around 90,000. Proof of three vaccine doses will be required to register and attend.
Mazu devotees wait in line to register at Baishatun Gong Tian Temple. One devotee came all the way from Chiayi to ask for blessings for her 90-something grandma. She waited in line for six days to get the first stick of incense.
Ms. Tsai, Mazu Devotee: “I didn't bring my grandma, but I asked Mazu if I could wear the armband and walk in the procession on my grandma's behalf. ( Reporter: “The entire way?”) The entire way.”
Turnout for the incense offering event is expected to be around 90,000. The temple says registration won't close until May 16. Proof of three vaccine doses is required to register and attend. Devotees are also allowed to register for other people.
Chen Chun-fa, Director, Gong Tian Temple Management Committee: “Due to the three-dose issue, attendance probably won't hit what we'd hoped. Around 90,000 people have registered. ( Reporter: “That many?”) Well, we're still putting safety first. If you haven't had three doses -- we will be suspending the incense proffering this year.”
The temple says devotees won't be allowed to stay overnight at the temple this year due to the epidemic and it hopes everyone can take care of their own health. The pilgrimage will kick off on May 20 and arrive in Beigang on the 22nd. As the route is decided by the temple's Mazu sculpture, managing the event will be a huge challenge.