JOSEPH ROSENDO’S TRAVELSCOPE
Taiwan: Matsu Festival and Islands
Joseph returns to Taiwan to follow in the path of Taiwan’s Matsu Pilgrimage, said to be the largest religious procession in the world, and to explore the islands named in the deity’s honor. Blessed with magical powers, Matsu, Taiwan’s superstar deity teaches creating balance in our lives and the lesson is illustrated in the 9-day Matsu Pilgrimage, which melds an exuberant worldly celebration with a mindful spiritual journey. It is literally an explosive event that encompasses the many sides of the Taiwanese nature. Complementing the festival is Joseph’s visit to the Matsu Islands, 100 miles from Taiwan while only 6 from China, revealing the resolute and determined survival instincts of the Taiwanese. Since the first Fujian fishermen came to the Matsu Islands in the 14th century, the archipelago has been a refuge. On his travels, Joseph discovers that for centuries, the islanders have weathered natural and political storms through their connections with each other and the sea. Today after decades of living in the shadow of war, they are ready to celebrate their historic, cultural and natural treasures.