Kaohsiung // Confucius Temple
even after living in Taiwan for 2.5 years, I don't consider myself an expert on the culture or religions here. my knowledge of temples [for as much as I enjoy photographing them] is still pretty limited. part of the confusion is due to the blending of beliefs that happens here in Taiwan - some temples are places of worship for over 80 different deities. and many people here have created their own personal mix between Confucianism, Buddhism, Taoism, and Chinese folk worship.
some of the temples even blend Taoist and folk deities [these are usually the colorful ones topped with dragons.] these are the ones I most often stumble upon, because they seem to spring up between buildings and around alleyway corners. and... a roof full of dragons is hard to miss. Buddhist temples are still colorful, but usually simpler and focused on the Buddha, obviously.
temples dedicated to Confucianism are the most plain, and I never really went out of my way to visit one. the Confucius Temple in Hsinchu has been under construction since we moved here, so when we had the opportunity Confucius Temple on Lotus Lake in Kaohsiung I was extremely curious.
we walked up to the front door and two old ladies seated at a table waved us in. I gestured to my camera and they nodded yes, but then repeated something that sounded to me like "you can only take six." I always hesitate because I don't want to be rude, so I resigned myself to not taking pictures if I couldn't understand the rules. thankfully, a young family was exiting the temple and the wife explained to me that the rule was "pictures are ok, but no flash."
I can't believe I almost didn't have any photos of the details inside this fantastic temple. the patterns in this place were amazing. the carvings, the hand painted details... everything was so symmetrical and repetitive. I could have taken a thousand pictures. [but, I had guests with me and we had other things to see.]
I still love my dragons, but from now on I won't be dismissing Confucian temples as potentially plain and boring.
the cup of coffee that fueled the writing of today’s post was sponsored by Jenn. she drinks her coffee with Truvia + almond milk and blogs about lifestyle + home improvement over at Near and Far Montana.