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Queen of heaven Matsu temple

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Matsu Tianhou Temple, located on the shore in Magang, is devoted to the worship of Mazu, Goddess of the Sea, and is a center of worship in Matsu. Residents of Matsu Village on Nangan believe that when Mazu tried to save her father from a shipwreck she herself was drowned in the violent waves and her body washed up in the bay here. The local residents, out of respect for her filial behavior, buried her in a coffin carved with phoenix patterns. Because of her good works, Matsu was transformed and ascended to Heaven on the ninth day of the ninth lunar month. In the Ming Dynasty she was deified as Heavenly Consort and during the Qing was promoted to Queen of Heaven, the name by which her temples are known today. This temple became somewhat decrepit and was rebuilt in 1943 under the supervision of Jang Yi-zhou, commander of the Peace and National Salvation Army; it was subsequently renovated and enlarged numerous times, and today is a palace-style structure with elaborately carved columns and painted walls. Many county-wide religious festivities have been held here, and the temple is the destination of numerous pilgrimages and other cross-straits religions activities. It is the most popular temple in the Matsu area.