Taishan Jade Lady Linzhong Temple
This ancient temple, built in the reign of Chiwu in the Eastern Wu Dynasty (about 239 A.D.), has a history of more than 1700 years. It is named Zhongmiao because it is located in the middle of Guchao County to Guluzhou Waterway. It is also called Zhongmiao because of the Huaijun Zhaozhong Temple advocated by Li Hongzhang in the late Qing Dynasty, which is only one arrow away from Zhongmiao.
Pocket-sized small temples are naturally not comparable to those of famous temples in scale, but the temples also make the world eye-catching because of their unique cultural connotations. The ballad of "Jiuhua in the South and Zhongmiao in the north" has been widely spread. It shows that Zhongmiao has the experience of God and Buddha, and its incense is strong. Since its establishment, Zhongmiao has a history of alternating Taoism and Buddhism, but it has been sacrificed to Buddhism for nearly a hundred years. In addition to the Buddhist Veto Buddha, Maitreya Buddha, Tathagata Buddha, Four Heavenly Kings, Eighteen Arhats Buddha and Guan Shiyin Buddha, the temple also worships the lake goddess, which is the difference between the Zhongmiao Temple and other temples. The Lake goddess is a Bodhisattva who prays for peace and tranquility for boatmen and fishermen.
This Lake goddess is the Taishan Jade Lady from the Bixia Palace in Mount Tai, which is popular among the people. According to the Qing Dynasty "Chaohu Zhi" included in the "Zhongmiao Jade Lady Examination" records: "... In the Song Dynasty, there were feather scholars from Zhongmiao who went to Mount Tai to enter fragrance. They stayed at night in the temple. During their sleep, there was a goddess who said, "My Taishan Jade Lady, too, knows that beside Chaohu Lake, there are Chiqi Fengcave Xianji, which is not the eternal realm of the world. I want to sit on it to shelter the people of the Yangtze River and Huaihe River." The bold Feather of Zhongmiao stole the Jade Goddess of Bixia Palace the next night and drifted through the clouds all night. "From midnight and dawn, that is, to Zhongmiao, God and man descend from the sky. Spread to the four sides, not surprise, and strive to look forward to the ceremony. It is rehabilitated by Yao Que and I Xin Luanyu, and worshipped by sorting out the gods. No prayer, no response, for more than a thousand years. Chaozhou Hanwengong Temple Stele has clouds: God in the sky, such as water in the ground, nowhere to go but not also, in the case of the temple worship Jade Lady, there is more to rely on the past... Since then, the Jade Maiden has been enshrined as a lake God in the back hall of the Zhongmiao Temple. According to historical records, the people of all dynasties "worship the temple, shoulder to shoulder, heel to toe." Businessmen and boatmen who come and go to Grandma Mountain "look at the temple and worship dozens of miles away". For thousands of years, local boat fishermen used to go to the temple to pray incense before sailing down to the lake to catch fish or ship goods, in order to pray for the safety of the Jade Maiden. Even when foreign ships came ashore, they would devoutly visit the temple, worship the Jade Maiden, and pray for good luck. Later, as long as people left home and went far away, even if they chose land transportation, they would come to visit the temple and light a Bingping Ping'an incense.
Legend has it that April 18, the eighteenth day of the lunar calendar, is the birthday of the Jade Maiden. This theory is based on the story of Taishan Jade Girl's life. According to Jade Girl Volume, it is stated that: "When the Emperor of Han Ming Dynasty, Jin Shi, wife of Shanshi Daoist in Fengfu County, Sunning Prefecture of Xiniu State, gave birth to a daughter on the eighteenth day of April of Jiazi in the seventh year of the Middle Age, who was well-known as Jade Leaf, had a good-looking appearance, had a good understanding of human relations at the age of three The 14-year-old Queen Mother Suddenly felt her mother's religion. She wanted to enter the mountain, and she got Cao Xian's long finger and went to the Huanghua Cave of the Sky Mountain to fix Yan. This elegant-looking Jade Leaf Woman was the Taishan Jade Woman who later became immortal. On this day, the Zhongmiao will hold a grand temple fair as usual to celebrate the birthday of the Jade Maiden, in order to pray for her to bless the people of Li safe and prosperous year after year.
According to the elders, the main ritual of the temple fair is the parade of women. The parade was solemn, with loud and loud gongs leading the way. They raised one side and knocked on the other side to show the opening of the gong. Next came an elaborate embroidered flat-top umbrella (also known as the Universal Umbrella) supported by an unmarried young man. It was about a foot high and its flat top diameter was about four feet. It was painted with four wishful heads with their roots toward the axis. Ruyitou dragged down four long white ribbons, involving four young women. The umbrella is divided into two layers. The upper layer is embroidered with the patterns of Shuanglong opera beads and Danfeng Chaoyang. The lower layer is hung with many colored silk strips. The upper layer is embroidered with the names of donors. The amount of donations is irrelevant. As long as the money is paid, you can embroider your name on the silk strips in order to get in and out safely and make good luck. In addition, there are ten handsome female sedan chairs on both sides of the sedan chair. In front of the sedan chair, four people carry four purple and gold medals with the words "quiet", "avoidance" and the head of dragon and tiger. Then there are eighteen colored silk flags, followed by knives, guns, swords, halberds, axes, hammers and so on. They are called eighteen kinds of weapons. Eight men carry the sedan chair where the goddess sits. The goddess of the goddess is phoenix-crowned, kind and dignified. In front of the sedan chair, there are two basins of burning firewood and charcoal braziers. They also lift one basin and spray vinegar one time along the way. Shenjiao was eventually accompanied by instrumental music. It is said that the main purpose of inviting the lake goddess to visit the temple is to dispel the evil calamity in Devil Town. After the lake goddess visited the street, the sedan chair was placed in front of the temple gate for people to worship and admire.
The temple fair in Zhongmiao has many other recreational activities besides the tour of the maidens. Generally, the theatre troupe is invited to sing a series of operas on the grass platform. From afternoon to evening, villagers from dozens of miles around come to see the opera, and there is a constant flow of people day and night. During the temple fair, the traditional market trade was also very active. Chaohu aquatic products, folk traditional crafts and local characteristic snacks were very attractive to pilgrims from all directions.
A Quexing Tower and an Aobei Cave coincide with the auspicious language of "Quexing Dou, monopolizing the leader" of Chaohu folk, and also with the dream of the Li family to look forward to generations of high-ranking officials and rich salaries.