By: Chen Shu-fen and Scully Hsiao
Taipei, April 17 (CNA) An annual procession to honor Matsu, the Chinese goddess of the
sea, kicked off Friday at the Dajia Jenn Lann Temple in the central city of Taichung.
Believers will traverse the neighboring counties of Changhua, Yunlin and Chiayi on a 330-kilometer journey that is scheduled to end April 26, when they return to the Taichung temple.
The annual event has been listed by the Discovery Channel as one of the biggest religious festivals in the world, along with the Haj — the Muslim pilgrimage to Mecca — and the Catholic pilgrimage to the Vatican.
Each year, millions of worshippers flock to join the procession to celebrate the birthday of Matsu, believed to fall on the 23rd day of the third month on the lunar calendar. [FULL STORY]