Old Taijiang Inner Sea: Its Previous and Current Existence
Sacred Banyan Tree of Shierdian
Worshipping Creek Banks and Buddha Yuan-Hai Turning obstacles into safety
A legend on managing the flooding of Taijiang
Floods from Zengwun Creek brought fertile land to Taijiang area; however, people who lived in the area also suffered from the frequent shifts of river courses, "moving creek," as it was called by local people.
When the creek flooded, people would move to a higher place.People developed a respect for nature as a way of life. Facing the inevitable difficulties and crisis brought to them by Mother Nature, local people worshipped nature to give strength and hope to their lives. The site where the villagers worshipped the creek bank is now flourished with banyan trees and a Yuanhai Buddha Temple.
"Worshipping" is ancient commoners' way of reflecting on their life and the environment, with which their bodies and souls were enlightened by the illumination of sincerity and respect. Residents of Shierdian implored General Guan Yu and General Chi as their patron gods for lives and properties. They planted three banyan trees and buried "seven-star lamps" under the trees to ward off "blind snakes". Today, the three trees have grown to the biggest banyan woods on the Western coast of Taiwan.
Yuanhai Buddha was in fact the spirits of victims during the floods. A temple was constructed to the south of the current Tien Ma Radio Station. This ancient piece of land, much battered by floods, witnessed the history of disasters in the shifting and rerouting of Zengwun Creek.
Every year, at the end of the 7th lunar month, villagers in this area worshipped Qingshui Zhushi, with offerings at the old river banks. The ceremony reminds all residents of the history their ancestors shared with the creek and courage of turning sorrows into hopes and the energy of creating new lives.