Xiahai Chenghuang Temple | Taiwan

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This temple is situated in Taipei and was built with purpose in mind of paying respect to the City God, but the Lunar Matchmaker (similar to the West's Cupid) is also very famous there, and attracts men and women from far and wide to the temple in hopes of being granted special help with their romantic lives. If they get what they wish for, then as a custom, they must bring a box of wedding cookies to show their great appreciation. Not surprisingly, the temple receives almost 10,000 boxed per year on average.

There are many statues of gods in the temple. Take note that the one with a wedding book in the left hand, and a cane in the right, is the Lunar Matchmaker. If it is your first visit and you're not sure of the right way to worship, you can ask the staff in the temple to help you get the "red thread of destiny". In the West, Cupid's arrow shoot into the hearts of man and women, but in Taiwan, the red thread signifies tying the man and woman's fate together.

If you are a married woman, you can worship the City Goddess, rather than the Lunar Matchmaker. Ask her for a pair of small "happiness shoes". The shoes must be placed in the bedroom of your house with the shoes pointing into the bedroom. It is said that these shoes can have a magical effect on a man - in essence, they can reduce his desire to spend too much time outside the couple;s bedroom. The temple also invites those that are blessed by the shoes in their love lives, to bring the shoes back to the temple on the City Goddess's birthday (4th day of the ninth lunar month). They then make a circle in air above the incense burner with the "happiness shoes" in order to wish the City Goddess a happy birthday and show appreciation.

Info | Transportation

Take the Tamsui LIne of the Taipei MRT to Shuanglian Station Exit 2. Turn left and take Bus 518 to the Nanjing West Road bus stop. Walk for 3 to 5 minutes.

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