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Innovation of Taipei City's Refined Worshipping Culture Shilin Shennong Temple “Substitutes Joss Paper for Tea” to Protect the Environment – Foreign Languages Available for the Online Lottery Poem Platform

Innovation has been introduced to Taipei City's refined worshipping culture! Shilin Shennong Temple has become the first temple in Taiwan to implement the concept of “substituting joss paper for tea”, encouraging pilgrims to express their respect and gratitude for deities through Peace Tea in order to prevent the excessive burning of joss paper by creating an eco-friendly way to pay tribute to God. Besides the eco-friendly “substituting joss paper for tea” initiative, the Shilin Shennong Temple also supports the Department of Civil Affairs' Lottery Poem Online Platform to promote friendly, multilingual measures in the temple, demonstrating the progressive creativity and vigor of the Shennong belief.
 
To minimize the burning of joss paper, the Taipei City Department of Civil Affairs launched the “substituting joss paper for rice” campaign in 2016 to encourage the pilgrims to use rice in place of joss paper during worshipping. The campaign was well received. In 2021, Shilin Shennong Temple continues to uphold its core values of “leading by example” and “treating others as you would yourself,” complemented by the legend of Shennong, the inventor of tea, to collaborate with local tea farmers in Taiwan and come up with the eco-friendly concept of “substituting joss paper for tea”. The intention is to promote the idea of using premium tea to pay respect to God. From now on, when the pilgrims go worshipping in Shennong Temple, they can choose to use the “Peace Tea” in addition to joss paper in a bid to support the eco-friendly way of honoring the deities.
 
According to the Chairman of the Shilin Shennong Temple He I-sung, it is hoped that the most historic temple in Shilin will lead by example to promote the eco-friendly worshipping approach, so as to foster the sustainable development of the ecological environment while preserving traditional faith.
 
Apart from the eco-friendly “substituting joss paper for tea” initiative, the Shilin Shennong Temple also supports the Department of Civil Affairs' Lottery Poem Online Platform in preparation for tourism developments in the post-pandemic era. In the future, foreign visitors to the Shilin Shennong Temple will be able to follow the traditional worshipping ritual, draw lots, and jiaobei (tossing of divination blocks). Thereafter, they can use their cell phone to scan the QR code and link to the lottery poem online platform, where they can obtain the meaning of their lottery poem in 4 different languages (Chinese, English, Japanese, and Korean) and gain further insight into the profound depth of Taiwan's religious belief. After the current phase of the Shennong Temple's restoration project is completed, various multilingual services signs and measures will also be implemented to make the temple the new attraction of the city's temple tourism.
 
Taipei City Department of Civil Affairs Commissioner Lan Shih-Tsung thanked the Shilin Shennong Temple for launching the “substituting joss paper for tea” campaign; the alternative solution to burning joss paper not only emanates temple characteristics, endowing the worshipping culture with tradition and eco-friendly qualities but also attracts more youth engagement by incorporating creative ideas that can facilitate the sustainable development of religion. The Shennong Temple joined forces with the Department of Civil Affairs to implement a multilingual temple environment and facilities to allow pilgrims and tourists from Taiwan and abroad to appreciate the beauty of religion in Taipei and the warm hospitality of the Taiwanese people.
 

The online lottery poem platform
The online lottery poem platform offers lottery poem interpretation in 4 languages (Chinese, English, Japanese, and Korean).
“Substituting joss paper for tea”
“Substituting joss paper for tea” encourages pilgrims to replace joss paper with tea when worshipping the deities.
The “substituting joss paper for tea” is given to pilgrims who have made donations as a token of appreciation
The “substituting joss paper for tea” is given to pilgrims who have made donations as a token of appreciation.