The southernmost portion of the Dajia Mazu Pilgrimage 大甲媽祖繞境 is Xingang’s Fengtian Temple (奉天宮). Mazu devotees walk from Dajia Zhenlan Temple in Taichung, through Changhua County, Yunlin County and into Chiayi County in a mere three days and three nights. This year I followed the procession for three days and two nights from Dadu, which is just shy of Taichung border and where I walked to last year from Dajia. The full procession takes nine days and eight nights including one day of rest at the Feng Tian Temple. I now realize why the nights are always included in the itinerary — because the pilgrims continue walking throughout the night. Rest is taken in hour or two hour chunks at temples, designated rest spots or the side of the streets along the way!
The temple was a veritable Daoist Disneyland (to borrow a Scott Habkirk coinage) when we arrived, quite a shock after the relative peace of the daily trudge we had become accustomed to. The photographs above were taken on a much quieter day last year. I will post some photos from the pilgrimage when I have caught up on some other work.