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Shuilu Buddhist paintings to be exhibited at cross-strait blessing and emorial ceremony

Shuilu Buddhist paintings to be exhibited at cross-strait blessing and emorial ceremony
Reporter: Yang Shuei-Yong /County Government
The 2017 Cross-strait Blessing and Memorial Ceremony is to be held next Monday for the purpose of allowing Chinese and Taiwanese soldiers and civilians killed in action to rest in peace, as well as praying for cross-strait peaceful development and prosperity and happiness for the people. At this Buddhist event for the deceased and the living, the Dynasty Treasure Group from Xiamen City was invited to organize an exhibition of Shuilu Buddhist paintings, and relevant departments in charge of cultural affairs, tourism, civil affairs, and accounting and statistics were gathered yesterday in a meeting presided over by Deputy Magistrate Wu Cherng-Dean about exhibition matters, in the hope of adding more benefits and luster to the blessing and memorial ceremony.
Since 1949, Kinmen has fought many battles such as the Battle of Guningtou, the Dadan and Erdan Battle, and the 1958 Taiwan Strait Crisis. Several Taiwanese business owners based in Beijing expressed their hope for peaceful cross-strait exchanges and development and their concerns over the sufferings of the souls of soldiers and civilians who were killed in past cross-strait battles as well as Kinmen’s wandering ghosts. Benevolent people, companies, and groups from Taiwan and Kinmen also intended to sponsor a ceremony, and the “2017 Cross-strait Blessing and Memorial Ceremony” was thus proposed. With the assistance of the Kinmen County Buddhist Association, Master Sing Hai, Syuan Kong Temple, Kinmen’s temples, volunteer groups, the Straits Exchange Foundation, the Fujian Provincial Government, the Kinmen County Government, and the Kinmen County Council, together with the support of Ever Rich Duty Free Shop and other companies, this grand ceremony to be attended by masters from Fujian and Shandong in China and from Taiwan and Kinmen is thus made possible.
Wu Cherng-Dean said that the 2017 ceremony is scheduled to take place from August 21st through 26th, with the aim of performing rituals to let soldiers and civilians who were killed in cross-strait battles to rest in peace. At present, preparations for the upcoming ceremony organized by the Kinmen County Buddhist Association have been completed. With such a great opportunity as this blessing ceremony, the Dynasty Treasure Group from Xiamen City was invited to arrange the “Shuilu Religious Art Exhibition,” so as to add more benefits and luster to the occasion.
Regarding the “Shuilu Religious Art Exhibition” to be held at the cultural park, director of the Cultural Park Administration, Lu Gen-Jhen, said that in terms of Buddhist spiritual engineering, the exhibition is closely tied to the religious and cultural development section of the cultural park, and is fortuitously combined with the cross-strait blessing ceremony. However, due to the tight schedule, the exhibition will take place in two phases.
The Shuilu exhibition in Phase 1 will last a total of six days from August 21st through 26th, with about twenty to thirty Buddhist paintings displayed, while Phase 2 will begin on September 9th and end on September 30th at the cultural park’s history museum, with activities including the Shuilu painting exhibition, DaAi good tidings, and symposiums on religion. After yesterday's discussion, due to limited time and matters that need to be addressed, it was suggested that the Shuilu Buddhist painting exhibition be given priority. As for other activities, it was recommended that they be rescheduled for next year, which would make preparations for the whole exhibition more complete and successful.
The Civil Affairs Department said that Kinmen has since 2004 held five cross-strait blessing and memorial ceremonies. What is special about this year’s ceremony is that in addition to a high altar to be set up at Kinmen County Jinhu Comprehensive Gymnasium for conducting memorial rituals for soldiers and civilians who were killed in post-1949 cross-strait battles as well as of homeless ghosts, it is the first time to build an altar on Dadan Island, which will be open for tourism, where masters will officiate at a Liang Huang Bao Cheng blessing and memorial ceremony that lasts six days. On the other hand, a sub-altar is to be built in Lieyu Township (Little Kinmen) for the first time for performing memorial rituals for officers and soldiers from the Chinese Nationalist Party (Kuomintang) and the Communist Party who fell in the Dadan and Erdan Battle. Over the past 57 years, the relations between the two sides across the Taiwan Strait have gone from tense to peaceful. In addition to the Kinmen island, the KMT and communist soldiers who were killed on Dadan Island are finally granted a memorial ceremony. With good wishes from all masters, these lost ghosts were guided to Pure Land. The masters also prayed for the living and the permanent peace on both sides of the strait.
The ceremony is scheduled to purify the altar and guide the ghosts on the afternoon of August 21st. From August 22nd to 25th, the ceremony will worship Liang Huang Bao Chan; the morning of August 26th is for a vegetarian diet while the afternoon is for the Yoga Ulka-mukha prayer service. As for the altar layout, the high altar at the Jinhu Comprehensive Gymnasium and the sub-altar on Dadan Island are supervised by the Buddhist Association, while the sub-altar at Lieyu Military Cemetery is supervised by Syuan Kong Temple. Nearly 100 masters from China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan were invited to perform rites such as water purification, sutra opening gatha, and sutra reading, along with about 100 to 120 Taiwanese volunteers. In addition, this year marks the 30th anniversary of cross-strait exchanges, and by learning from previous experience of organizing ceremonies, the county government hopes that all participants can make the ceremony a success with an attitude of devotion, and commit themselves to such an important event, so that people on both sides of the strait can see its special merits and virtues.

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  • Date:2017-12-12