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Unique pig goddess drawing attention in Year of Pig

2019/02/03 18:03:04

Taipei, Feb. 3 (CNA) The impending Year of the Pig in the Chinese zodiac has rekindled interest in a small temple in southern Taiwan, which honors a pig goddess that is believed to bring good fortune in terms of peace, marriage and wealth.

At General Chenhai Temple in Tainan, the main deity is a unique pig goddess that is depicted as having a sow's face on human body.

According to the legend about the goddess, a butcher in Tainan's Chingtzu Chiao decided to spare a pregnant sow but it ran away and sneaked into the animal food stock on farms in the area, which prompted residents to chase it until it toppled off a cliff into sea.

After the death of the pig, however, farms in Chingtzu Chiao began having poor harvests and many residents became ill, according to the legend.

After consultations with the deity at Hsinan Temple in the area, it was decided that a temple would be built to honor the sow, the legend says.

In 1977, the pig goddess statue was installed in General Chenhai Temple, which remained under the control of Hsinan Temple, said the director-general of the latter Hung He-nien (洪鶴年).

He said the statue of the pig goddess was stolen in 2008, and the current one is a replica.

Now, with the Year of the Pig approaching, General Chenhai Temple is attracting public attention, Hung said, adding that offerings at the temple should not include pork.

(By Yang Sz-ruei and Lee Hsin-Yin)