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    Taichung Wanhe Temple is one of the most ancient temples in Chinese culture and brings with many legendary stories for more than three hundred years. Wanhe Temple is a level-3 historic monument and a national treasure.

    Wanhe Temple worships the holy mother, who is more commonly known as Mazu or the big old mother from Meizhou. It was said that in 1684, Guo Zhang, a military commander from Zhejiang, went to Meizhou and asked Mazu for her blessing and protection over Zhang's expedition to Taiwan. Zhang and his company began their journey from Meizhou and arrived Nantun, Taichung. Nantun's reclamation began since then.

    The big old mother settled in Nantun. At first, only a small shrine was built for its followers to pray, worship, and give their offerings. Their wishes often were answered and the locals suggested building a temple. The construction project was funded and led by many local worthies in the following names: Zhang, Liao, Jian, Jiang, Liu, Huang, He, Lai, Yang, Dai, Chen, and Lin. In 1726, the large temple was completed and named Wanhe Temple. The word "Wanhe" means by worshipping Mazu that she will bless all peoples and that "everyone together" making their hometown a better place.
Ever since the temple was built, more and more followers came to worship Mazu. Mazu seemed to always answer prayers and gave her blessings to people everywhere. Even until this day, tons of followers and tourists still come visit Wanhe Temple. Wanhe Temple has found a place in local residents' hearts and become the sacred place in central Taiwan.

Wanhe Temple is surrounded with traditional Zhang-quan architectures, which are contributions of people from Zhang, Quan, Ding, Jia, Chao, and Hui when they first came to Taichung. This style of architecture is very detailed and gorgeous and gives out a historic cultural vibe. It is definitely worth a peak and a chance to appreciate the contributions of these ancestors.
    Due to a lack of management in the early days, Wanhe Temple was often trespassed. In the 1960s, through the efforts of Lin-liu, then warden of Nantun District, Lin, a city councilor, Liao, a local worthy, and Chen, the head of community, "Taichung Wanhe Temple Foundation" was founded. The new management began to take the right course since then.
      In 1985, the Ministry of the Interior rated Wanhe Temple as a national level-3 historic monument. In 1999, the government allocated more than 40 million NT dollars to renovate Wanhe Temple. The renovation was completed in 2001 and a grand opening was held in October 2002. The festival was quite a sight.

      To promote local culture, Wanhe Temple's 10th chairman launched a construction project for a cultural center. A project committee was formed and consisted of locals who were eager to help. In February 1991, Chairman Lin-liou hosted the groundbreaking ceremony. The construction project was completed in June 1993.
      Inside the Wanhe Culture Center, there is a restaurant in the basement. A conference hall, a library, and a Culture Center(Jute Culture Center) are on 2nd, 3rd, and 4th floor, respectively.
      The top floor holds the Mayi Culture Center. The building itself faces Wanhe Temple with its back against Litoudianriver. It stands tall in between with a magnificent look. There is an observatory on the rooftop. Looking to the west you get a wonderful view of Mt. Dadu. On the east you have the Taichung urban district. Here you get a full taste of Nantun's historic streets.

      Mayi Culture Center was established in October 2004 when Wanhe Temple Foundation received guidance and support from the Council for Cultural Affairs. It is Taichung's first private cultural center.
      Major exhibi tions include histories of Nantun and Jute Huangma, various treasure pieces, Mayi culture, and creative arts. Mayi Culture Center is open for touring with volunteer narrators on weekends and every 1st and 15th of a month in lunar calendar.
      Wanhe Temple devotes much effort in preserving and passing down the local culture. In August 1997, Wanhe Foundation for Cultural Affairs was founded. Its first chairman of the board was led by Wanhe's Temple's chairman, Lin-liu, who assumed the big mission.

      Since Xiao took over as the chairman for both Wanhe Temple and Wanhe Foundation for Cultural Affairs in 2001, he has taken on former chairmen's unfulfilled wishes and given his best devoting to preservation of the local culture through support of the board. Over the years, he has published many books including "Wanhe Temple", which was the first in religion in Taichung. As for passing down local culture and encouraging the public to cherish our cultural assets, Xiao's effort was invaluable.
    Wanhe Temple also values doing charities for the public. Since 1977, it has given out academic scholarships to followers' children twice a year. There were a total of 75 recipients in the first year with a total up to NT 31,000. As the number of followers increased, so did the number of scholarship recipients. According to statistics, there was a total of 16 million NT dollars given out to nearly 8,000 young beneficiaries in the past three years.

      Wanhe Temple with its long history until this day still has Taiwan's only "Surname Play", which has been passed down for nearly two hundred years and is an important activity for the temple.

      The Name Play is a show dedicated to Mazu. It was said that in 1824, Wanhe Temple 's"Second Mother" was having a parade from Hanxi to Nantun. On her return, however, the sedan chair became so heavy that it could not raised and carried inside the temple. The followers did not know what was going on and decided to use the bamboo device used for divination. The answer turned out to be that the gods needed to be entertained.repleace the Patrol Ever since then, beginning March 21 every year in lunar calendar, the followers would always prepare plays for Mazu in ceremonies so that the sedan chair could enter the temple.

      The people of Nantun lived up to their commitment to Mazu. The following year (1825) beginning on March 21 in lunar calendar, the Surname Play started. Zhangzhou Play was on the first day and Guangdong the next, followed by Quanzhou Play on the 24th and Dingzhou Play on the 25th. After that, there were various name plays continuing for about one to two months. The Surname Play has continued for generations and become an important local custom. Due to continual increase in the number of followers, the original 12 names have since increased to a total of 28 names now.
      In November 1803, to make it convenient for the followers, Wanhe Temple built a "Second Mother" joss. It was said that when the joss was completed and a grand opening was held, a teenage girl named Liao from Xitun passed away and her soul flew to Wanhe Temple. On her way there, she met a merchant who sold sewing goods and asked the merchant to tell her parents not to be sad and that she had buried some money under a tree for them to use. The girl's mother found out and ran to look for her at Wanhe Temple. But when she saw "Second Mother" with a drop of tears coming down its face, she knew that her daughter had left.

      The story above is rather famous and has been considered as one of many legends relating to Mazu. Since the 19th century, people of Xitun have given Wanhe Temple's "Second Mother" a new name, "Old Grandaunt." In addition, it has become a custom for people of Xitun to welcome their Old Grandaunt to their hometown of Xitun for celebration once every three years.