The nine-day Dajia Matsu Pilgrimage Procession, the largest religious procession in Taiwan which attracts millions of believers each year, started on the night of April 9. For the first time, the starting ceremony of the procession at Jenn Lann Temple (鎮瀾宮) in Taichung's Dajia (大甲) District was broadcast globally in 11 languages by the Radio Taiwan International (RTI).
Setting off on a roundtrip pilgrimage from Jenn Lann Temple, the procession will travel from Taichung to Changhua, Yunlin, and Chiayi counties, before returning to the temple on April 18.
Beginning at 8 p.m. on April 9, the ceremony marking the start of the procession was live streamed by Radio Taiwan International (RTI) on the 17LIVE Inc. platform and it is available for viewing in Taiwan, Singapore, Japan, the United States, Indonesia, Russia, Vietnam, Australia, Thailand, Canada, United Kingdom, South Korea and Saudi Arabia, among others.
RTI Chairperson Lu Ping (路平) pointed out that the Dajia Matsu pilgrimage procession was hailed as one of the world's three largest religious activities by Discovery Channel.
She added that Matsu symbolizes calmness in feared situations and comfort amidst disasters, and, as the world is facing the challenges of COVID-19 pandemic and numerous disasters, probably it is even more significant to connect Taiwan with people all over the world through such a unique religious event.
Yu Mei-ren (于美人), secretary-general of the Taiwan Mazu Fellowship and vice chairperson of the General Association of Chinese Taoism, pointed out that many professionals from music and film sectors have contributed to the production of pilgrimage procession-related songs, videos and films. Within a month, the event organizers are able to present two theme songs, two music videos, 10 short films, and a concert.
Praying for health and prosperity to people all over the world, Yu looks forward that the Dajia Matsu pilgrimage procession will bring blessings to the world. She added that while chatting with some Taiwanese students overseas, they expressed their anxiety for not having participated in worship for a year. She hopes that the overseas students can find comfort watching the live streaming of the Dajia Matsu pilgrimage procession.