Taipei kong mahal (My beloved Taipei) 180214: Happy Valentine's Day | luomujie blogspot

Taipei kong mahal (My beloved Taipei) 180214: Happy Valentine's Day

Once there was a princess who fell in love with a cowherd.  She was no ordinary woman as she was the daughter of the Emperor of Heaven.  Her father strongly disagrees with their love that they were forced to separate ways.  The lovebirds were placed in two different stars in the sky that they could no longer hold each other's hand.   The two became sad, but fate has other plans for our the couple. A magical force forms a bridge between their stars allowing them to see each other again.  This only happens once a year every seventh day of the seventh month of the lunar calendar.

This is the origin of the Chinese Valentine's Day.  A classic story that romanticizes the imagination of the Taiwanese every July or August when the “Day of Hearts” arrives. Just like in our legend, lovers meet and celebrate their love during the seventh day of the seventh month of the lunar calendar.  Or to make it simple, this is the “second” Valentine's Day in Taiwan.

Looking for love in Taipei? 

But two Valentine's Day in one year would be useless if you don't have someone to be called as your sweetheart.   Am I right?  So the luomujie blog gives you some tips and tricks for finding that special someone and what to do after you have found him or her.  Haha!

Taipei Xia Hai City God temple in Dadaocheng

Locals praying inside the temple

The Xiahai Temple in Dadaocheng is the top place to go to in dealing with matters of love.  Do you want to get married but your loved one doesn't want yet to settle?  Are you afraid that your husband is going to cheat on you?  Or still single at your age of 30s?  Don't worry because I know a person where we can ask for help.  

The statue of Yuexialaoren standing in the middle of the first row

Another statue of our love guru inside the main hall of the temple
Women in Taiwan often pray to the wife of yuexialaoren to prevent their husbands from cheating on them.

Instructions in Chinese on how to pay a visit in Xiahai Temple

Someone left a box of chocolates in the temple as an offering.

After praying and asking questions on the gods, worshippers go to the incense holder outside the temple and pass a piece of string or coin three times in a clockwise direction.  The items are then kept as good luck charms.

The heart-shaped box contains the shoe of the goddess and having one is believed to give good luck to a marriage.

Locals buy the box and have it blessed in the temple

The box as it is brought near the incense holder.

He is one of the local deities in Taiwan and he is known locally as “yuexialaoren”.  Referred to as the “Old Man under the Moon”, he is the one that can give answers to your prayers.   Single men and women come here and do a ritual to have a boyfriend or girlfriend.   Married women, on the other hand can give their prayers to the wife of yuexialaoren to prevent their husbands from cheating.  How do these gods work?  Let's say that they would appear in the dreams of your apple of the eye and just wait until their magic happens.  It might take time before your prayer is answered but who knows?  Your crush is just playing hard to get.

If you are already happy in love, then take your partner to Raohe Night Market.  Go there not just to eat but to lock your hearts forever.   A few meters from the food street is Chengmei Riverside Park.  Just walk from the night market and you will see an entrance at the walls of the riverbank.  It will lead you to an art installation which features the four big letters of the word “LOVE”.   

The Keelung River plus the Rainbow Bridge above it adds more romance to the place as couples hang their padlocks on these giant letters as a sign that their hearts are tied forever.   Fancy or not, the design of the lock is not important.  What matters is that you are there for each other until your last breath. 

Looking at each padlock is like reading the romantic story of every couple who had been here.   A pink padlock with a white heart could be from teenagers enjoying their puppy love.   Two heart-shaped padlocks next each other could be from a husband and wife.  A married couple in Taipei who promised to love each other.   They made a vow to be together for better or worse, for richer or poorer, in sickness and in health.  All sorts of locks can be find here especially the one with the heart-shaped handle.  It has the words “Taipei” on the main body of the padlock.   Hmmm… This kind of lock should be available in some souvenir shop in the city.

Forever in Taipei. Two hearts intertwined as one. 

Beyond the roses and chocolates that are given every February 14 and the rituals done to persuade the love gods of Taiwan during the Chinese Valentine’s Day, one should remember to love yourself first.   How can you love another person if you cannot love your own self?  I think this is the best tip that I can give to someone wishing to be in a relationship.  Accept your flaws and imperfections.  Say “I love myself” first before saying “I love you”.  Time will come that you will hear the sweet words of “I love you too” from someone you truly care for.  Happy Valentine’s Day!


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