The (Chinese) questions and answers below are from the book "The Origins of Taiwanese Customs." The Chinese was written by Lin Mao-shian, and the English translation was written by me. 下列的中文問題跟答案來自於台灣民俗由來這本書. 這本書的作者是林茂賢先生. 我則是將他書中的部分內容翻譯成英文.
are chapters 9-16 from the "Folk Beliefs" section. Next month I'll
introduce sections 17-24. There are 32 chapters in all. 以下是 "民俗信仰"
第九到第十六章的部分. 下個月我要介紹第十七到第二十四章的部分. "民俗信仰" 這個單元總共有三十二章.
9. Q: 為什麼初一, 十五要拜拜? Why do we need to visit the temple on the first and fifteenth days of the lunar month?
A: 人們對土地公的信仰, 源自於對土地的崇拜, 因為土地孕育萬物, 並提供豐富的五穀, 滿足人民生活所需, 自然而然, 人們就將這種崇拜神格化. 土地公雖然是職位較低的神明, 但是祂所管轄的事情非常多, 而且除了各村里的土地公廟外, 各大廟宇也一定會有土地公. 人們都相信土地公能庇護鄉里, 保佑人民, 所以每逢農曆初一, 十五, 一般家庭會祭拜土地公, 希望全家都能平安又順利. People's belief in Tu Di Gong comes from their reverence for the land - because everything comes from the land, and because the land provides the grain which sustains the lives of the people. Of course many other gods are worshiped for similar reasons, and although Tu Di Gong is a god with less status, many things fall under his jurisdiction. Aside from the Tu Di Gong temples which are to be found in every village, every big temple also has a [statue of] Tu Di Gong. Everyone believes that Tu Di Gong can watch over their village, and that he can protect the people. For this reason, the first and fifteenth days on the lunar calendar are when most families worship Tu Di Gong, in the hope that they will be peaceful and prosperous.
10. Q: 為什麼小孩要拜 "七娘媽?" Why do children need to worship "the Seventh Mother?"
A: 七娘媽是兒童的守護, 神父母為求孩子平安長大, 便會在每年的七夕 (農曆七月七日), 也就是七娘媽生日當天, 準備牲禮, 四果, 胭脂水粉, 鏡子, 梳子等來祭拜七娘媽, 一直到孩子滿十六歲為止. 孩子平安長大十六歲了, 就要在七夕當天準備果, 粽, 湯圓等祭拜七娘媽, 感謝祂的保佑, 稱為 "作十六歲," 這也是孩子的成年禮, 慶祝他們已經長大成人, 可以為自己的言行負責了. The Seventh Mother is the goddess which parents entreat for the safe growth and protection of their children. During the seventh day of the seventh lunar month, which is the Seventh Mother's birthday, offerings such as the four fruits, cosmetics, mirrors, and combs are placed upon her altar. This is done until children reach 16 years of age. Once they have safely reached 16, they should prepare fruits, dumplings, and soup balls for the Seventh Mother on her birthday, in order to thank her for protecting them. This is called "Making 16 Years," and is a rite celebrating one's passage into adulthood. It also marks the time when one's deeds must match one's words.
11. Q: 廟會中的七爺, 八爺是誰? Who are the Seventh Master and Eighth Master we see during temple festivals?1
A: 相傳, 七爺名叫謝必安, 八爺名叫范無救, 他們都是衙門的差役. 有一次, 他們押解的一名犯人在上京途中逃跑了, 於是兩人分頭去找, 並相約在橋下見. 後來八爺先到達橋下, 卻遲遲等不到七爺, 結果遇上溪水暴漲, 不幸被溺死臉也變成了黑色; 七爺則因過度悲傷而上吊自盡, 所以舌頭吐出. 玉皇大帝十分佩服他們的情義和勇氣, 便將他們分派給城隍爺當部將, 負責捕捉四處害人的鬼怪. According to legend, the Seventh Master was originally named Shie Bi-an, and the Eighth Master was named Fan Wu-jiou. They were officers in the service of Ya Men. A prisoner escaped their custody on the way to the capital, and the two separated to search for him. They agreed to meet under a bridge, and the Eighth Master was the first to arrive there. He waited a long time for the Seventh Master, until the river below the bridge flooded. He drowned, and as a result his face became black. Because of this tragedy, the Seventh Master hung himself, causing his tongue to stick out. The Jade Emperor greatly admired their friendship and courage, and put them under the command of the City God, who charged them with catching harmful ghosts.
12. Q: 為什麼求姻緣要拜月下老人? Why do people who want to get married pray to the Old Man Under the Moon?
A: 月下老人掌管人世間所有男女的姻緣, 所以有許多單身的人會去祭拜祂. 相傳月下老人手中有一本姻緣簿, 裡面記載所有男女應該婚配的對象, 當祂找到注定要婚配的男女時, 就會拿出一根紅線, 並繫在兩人的手上, 因此我們說幫人作媒就是 "牽紅線." 如果到廟中向月老祈求姻緣, 之後順利遇到適合的對象並結婚的話, 記得帶盒喜餅到廟中還願, 誠心感謝月下老人的祝福. The Old Man Under the Moon is in charge of marriages between all earthly men and women, so many single people will go and worship him. According to legend, the Old Man Under the Moon holds in his hands a Marriage Book, and within the book are recorded suitable marriage partners for every man and woman. When he finds a man and woman who are destined to marry, he takes out a red string, and with it he ties the two peoples' hands together. This is why matchmaking is called "pulling the red string." If you go to the temple and pray to the Old Man Under the Moon for a marriage, and afterward you happen to meet a suitable person and get married, you should remember to take a box of wedding cakes to the temple, and offer them to the Old Man Under the Moon in thanks for your good fortune.
13. Q: 為什麼想生小孩要拜註生娘娘? Why should those who wish to have children worship Ju Sheng Mother?
A: 註生娘娘是掌管生育以及保護幼童的神明, 因此想求子的婦女都會去祭拜祂, 請祂保佑自己順利懷孕. 在臺灣, 除了祭拜註生娘娘, 孕婦在生產前還會祭拜臨水夫人陳靖姑. 她是唐朝人, 具有斬妖除魔的能力, 懷孕時為了收服妖怪不幸去世, 臨終前立誓要幫助所有婦女順利生產. 因此婦女希望懷孕, 求生男或女, 就會去拜註生娘娘; 懷孕之後希望能平安順利的生產, 就會去拜臨水夫人. Ju Sheng Mother is a spirit who oversees births and protects small children. For this reason all women who want to have children make offerings to her, and ask for her help in getting pregnant. In Taiwan, women will also make offerings to Chen Jing Gu, the Woman Near the Water, before giving birth. She [Chen Jing Gu] lived during the Tang Dynasty, and had the ability to banish demons. In order to ensure that pregnancies proceeded without the ill effects of vengeful spirits, she swore before her death to help women have births free of complications. This is why women wanting children pray to Ju Sheng Mother, and why those hoping for a peaceful and easy birth pray to the Woman Near the Water.
14. Q: 廟會中的 "陣頭" 是指什麼? What is the significance of the "Jen Tou" performance during temple festivals?
A: 陣頭是台灣民間的一種街頭表演藝術, 通常是在廟會, 迎神, 神明遶境, 喪葬儀式中出現. 陣頭表演除了民眾熟知的八家將, 花鼓陣, 宋江陣, 舞龍舞獅外, 近年更結合創意, 發展出電音版的三太子, 而這些表演元素融入莊嚴的宗教禮俗後, 不僅增添熱鬧氣氛, 也為廟會表演添加藝術性質. 陣頭表演人員大多是業餘的, 他們利用空閒時間學習民俗技藝, 當有廟會活動時再代表地方出陣遊行. The "Jen Tou" is a kind of Taiwanese roadside performance art. It can be seen during temple festivals such as "the welcoming of the gods," the Rao Jing, and during funerals. In addition to the 8-person performance, the flower drum ensemble, the martial performance, and the dragon and tiger dances, in recent years there has been a new innovation in the "Electronic San Tai Dze." These performances bring a liveliness to otherwise solemn religious ceremonies, and add a certain artistry to temple festivals. Most of those performing in the Jen Tou performance work for a living, and use their free time to learn this folk art. They represent their communities during temple festivals.
15. Q: 拜拜時的 "三太子" 是指誰? Who is the "San Tai Dze" referred to in temple worship?2
A: 三太子就是 "封神演義" 中手持火尖槍, 腳踩風火輪的哪吒. 有一次, 他大鬧東海龍宮, 龍王不甘心, 就上奏玉帝, 希望問罪他的父母李靖夫婦, 哪吒為了不連累父母, 自願以性命贖罪. 哪吒死後, 得到太乙真人的幫助, 用荷葉, 蓮花替他重塑形體, 並賜給他火尖槍和風火輪. 在臺灣的民間信仰中, 哪吒是守護鄉里的中壇元帥, 兒童的守護神, 也是職業駕駛, 輪胎業者的行業神, 能保佑行車平安. San Tai Dze is the spear-wielding Nuo Ja, who rides upon wheels of fire in the "Romance of Feng Shen." At one time, he raided the palace of the Dragon of the Eastern Sea, and the Dragon King was inconsolable. The Dragon King then asked the Jade Emperor to avenge this wrong by punishing Li Jing and his wife, who were Nuo Ja's parents. In order to save his parents, Nuo Ja sacrificed himself. After Nuo Ja's death, and with the aid of the Perfected Tai Yi3, lotus leaves were used to recreate his body, and he was given back his spear and wheels of fire. In Taiwanese folk beliefs, Nuo Ja is the protector of the central village altar, children, those who drive for a living, those involved in the tire industry, and also those involved in related professions. He protects vehicles and keeps them safe.4
16. Q: 什麼是 "電音三太子?" What is the "Electronic San Tai Dze?"
A: 台灣民間三太子的造型都年輕, 活潑又可愛, 經常以戴墨鏡, 拿玩具, 溜滑板和騎機車等方式出現. 直到西元二000年左右, 人們突發奇想, 以童謠結合三太子的人偶來表演, 之後更嘗試搭配流行歌曲或熱門音樂, 型成一股風潮, 並在西元二00六年台中市舉辦 "台客嘉年華會" 活動時, 定名為 "電音三太子." 由於跳著電音舞步的三太子特殊又逗趣, 因此在海, 內外都十分受到歡迎. Among Taiwanese people, San Tai Dze always has a youthful appearance. He looks very friendly and cute. He often wears sunglasses, carries toys, rides a skateboard, rides a scooter, and other similar things. It wasn't until around the year 2000, when people began to take a more whimsical approach to San Tai Dze, that they began to play popular songs and other fashionable music during his street performances. This created a new craze [for this type of performance]. In 2006, Taichung City hosted its "Tai Ke5 Festival," also known as "Electronic San Tai Dze," and from this time onward the amusing sight of San Tai Dze dancing to electronic music has become popular everywhere.
Related Entries 相關的文章:
What's Going On In Taitung 台東最近發生的事 2
台灣民俗由來 The Origin of Taiwanese Customs (1 of 4)
What's Going On In Taitung 台東最近發生的事 1
台灣各地的地名由來 (台東縣) The Origin of Every Place Name in Taiwan (Taitung County)
1. 爺 can also be translated as "grandfather."
2. "San Tai Dze" or 三太子 could be translated at "Third Prince," but that sounds weird to me, so I'm not doing it.
3. "Perfected" (Person) or 真人 is a Daoist term that goes back to the "Romance of Feng Shen."
Next time you have your car, scooter, or bicycle's tires changed you
might want to look for this god's altar in the shop. You never know,
5. "Tai Ke" or 台客 could be translated as "Taiwanese person," but it's more meaningful than the English term suggests. A "Tai Ke" is someone who is especially Taiwanese, or who exemplifies Taiwanese culture.