No.1, Changfu St., Sanxia Dist., New Taipei City 237, Taiwan (R.O.C.)
Besides the nostalgic old street, the incense-choked Sanxia Qingshui Zushi Temple is another main draw of the historic town of Sanxia. Originally known as Changfuyang (長福巖), the temple has always been the local center of religion, society and economy ever since its establishment in 1769. However, it had to undergo many renovations over time due to the destruction caused by earthquakes and wars in the 19th century. After Taiwan’s restoration, a local artist named Li Mei-Shu voluntarily took the renovation work and urged that Sanxia Qingshui Zushi Temple should boast elements of Chinese history, culture and folk art. He then led a group of students from a college of art and started this long-term construction. The artist passed away in 1983 but has pretty much dedicated his life to this project. The renovation is still going on though. Perfectly combined with religion and art, Sanxia Qingshui Zushi Temple is a living museum of traditional architecture that dazzles your eyes with its exquisite carving and complex structure form.
When people first migrated to Taiwan from Anxi County in China, their local religion was brought along as well. Most of these people made a living from tea and believed the rain deity Qingshui Zushi to be the guardian of tea. Therefore, a grand temple dedicated to Qingshui Zushi was put up and known as Sanxia Qingshui Zushi Temple. Another highlight worth mentioning is the annual "Pig of God" contest that takes place on the sixth day of the lunar calendar. This cultural and religious ritual involves animal sacrifice and growing a pig to a size of extremely large proportions in order to offer it to Qingshui Zushi. Though over the past few years, the ceremony has become a controversial one with animal rights activists arguing that this sort of practice should not continue while others argue that it is a traditional aspect of local culture and should be preserved.