On what I walk to see...

"Objects do not have any intrinsic meaning- that meaning is conferred on them by us- and that different people, and the same person at different times, may confer different meanings on the same object." (Hammersley, 1989, p. 135)

Saturday, December 3, 2011

The temple & Keelung Miaokou 奠濟宮/基隆廟口

Since I was in Keelung, I had to go to the Miaokou Night Market where one could find all types of nice eats and a whole lot of them are traditional Taiwanese dishes.

I would love to test them all out except for... man... only have 1 stomach and there's only so much one can eat! 

Though it is called night market, many of the venders start to run their business during the day time. 

In my much younger and ignorant years, when I heard the term "Miaokou," which means the entrance of the temple, I thought it referred to the Mazu temple next to my uncle's clinic.   Guess it was because, when I go to the market, my focus has always been on food and most of my blood would be busy rushing to my stomach-- leaving little in the air.

Then, one day, I realized that there was another temple there.
It was not until yesterday did I pay the temple a visit for the first time--- and came out with this question in my mind-- whose temple is it?  8-O

After some research, I realize that 奠濟宮 is a temple dedicated to general 陳元光 (Chen Yuangguang).  General Chen was from the Tang dynasty.  He had led the Han people to settle in 漳州 (Zhang-zhou), a region in the Fujian province and contributed greatly to the development of the region.  After his passing, people in Zhangzhou call him "開漳聖王" or the "Sacred Prince, Developer of Zhangzhou."

Because a lot of early immigrants in Keelung were from 漳州, the 奠濟宮 temple was built in 1873 so that the people could continue to worship and seek spiritual support from "開漳聖王" or the "Sacred Prince, Developer of Zhangzhou."  And, because there were so many worshipers visiting the temple, street venders started to gather around the entrance of the temple (Miaokou) and eventually formed the market as we know today.

Gotta say sorry to the Sacred Prince for not knowing who he was until today.... and... especially when my ancestors also came from 漳州 (Zhang-zhou).

At least, now I know.... better late than never... I guess.

I also saw for first time how the night market is set up.  I have been going to night markets alike my entire life but it never occurred to me, sort of, how venders set up their stands and form the night market...

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