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DCA Encourages Online Worship for Ghost Month

To promote the campaign of replacing traditional offering rituals with virtual worship on the Internet and cutting back on spending for ceremony offerings, the Department of Civil Affairs (DCA) has established a website dedicated to prayer offering for Ghost Month.

The Ghost Month (also known as Zhongyuan Festival) is an important event for locals. According to customs, households would burn paper money as offerings to the spirits from the underworld at this time of the year.

However, in a crowded city like Taipei, burning paper money will lead to air pollution and other problems. To find a balance between faith and environmental protection, and to serve individuals who are too busy to visit the temples to offer their prayers, DCA established the “online temple alter” to allow the public to show their respect to the spirits in a convenient way.

In addition, virtual offering would remove the need for presenting offerings before the gods. DCA calls on the public to donate the money they would otherwise spend on offerings to charities and welfare organizations.

The agency also announced that the City would hold a main ritual at the Civic Plaza on September 13. The city-sponsored Ghost Festival ceremony will present offerings to the spirits on behalf of those who offered their prayers before the virtual altar.

For more information on virtual worship, please visit the Chinese website at: http://www.ca.taipei.gov.tw/gold/