“You Love the Goat, I Love the Ceremony?”: The Cultural Implication of the “Sacrificial Pig” in Guangfu Temple, Qionglin
|關鍵字:||神豬;米豬;麵豬;廣福宮;芎林;文化意涵;Sacrificial pig;Pig made of rice;Pig made of noodles;Guangfu Temple;Qionglin;Cultural Implication|
In recent years, the rise of animal protection awareness has led to a great controversy over “using sacrificial pigs to worship the Gods”, which has been practiced for years in Taiwan. Animal protection groups have also called for the abolition of sacrificial pig weight competitions in representative temples in Taiwan, with hopes of replacing sacrificial pigs with pigs made of rice or noodles. Whether sacrificial pigs are raised by “abusive means” and “forced feed” the way animal protection groups have described them has been brought into question. Why do local believers in Qionglin prepare such large sacrificial pigs to worship the Gods? What is the cultural implication behind it? In addition, what is the significance of pigs made of rice or noodles in occasions such as worship ceremonies in Qionglin and others celebrations? Why have sacrificial items as replacements for sacrificial pigs emerged? In order to clarify the above problems, observations, records, and analysis of Qionglin and other related areas have been conducted for two years. It was found that the cultural implication of the “sacrificial pig” at the Guangfu Temple in Qionglin is the modern believers’ way of expressing their vanishing faith. Back in the day, believers offered enormous sacrificial pigs to the Gods to express respect and sincerity to the Gods. Nevertheless, the focus should be in the interaction between Man and the Gods, rather than the sacrificial item itself. However, with changes in the significance of sacrificial celebrations and the involvement of the transforming generations, even though the practice of using sacrificial pigs used for worshiping the Gods remains, as is likely the case, the “size” of sacrificial pigs no longer matters. Believers do not necessarily use very large sacrificial pigs to worship the Gods. Believers may express their respect and awe for the Gods in their own way. This being said, the reverence for the Gods and the cultural implication will pass on forever.
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