Thursday, May 21, 2015

Mazu Temple for Burning Man 2015

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The Goddess Mazu’s temple on this Empty Sea is built of wood and steel. The temple grounds are 143 meters (470 feet) in circumference, 45 meters (150 feet) in diameter, and the lotus on top reaches a height of 12 meters (40 feet). The grounds are encircled by lanterns, and two outcroppings are connected to the main temple by boardwalks reminiscent of piers. These outcroppings are for Mazu’s two Bodyguards, Qian Li Yan also known as Thousand Mile Eyes and Shun Feng Er, which means Ears that Hear the Wind. The Main temple will feature a large lotus sculpture blooming on the roof and fire breathing dragons on each of the eight rafters. Inside, the center column is lit by alcoves of LED lights and supports an eternal flame incense burner. The entrance gate with three door ways will welcome seekers to the temple grounds.

In the morning, there are meditation and chanting workshops offered. During the day, people entering the temple will find two oracles, if they wish to ask Mazu a question, or seek a boon. First, the seekers will consult the Kau Cim; a type of lottery with poetry. Next, they will throw the Bwa Bwei (Moon Blocks) which are crescent shaped with one flat and one round side. A yes answer is given when one Bwei lands with the flat side up, and the other with the rounded side up. If three people concurrently throw a “Yes” answer with the Bwei, they will trigger a flame effect. Each of the dragons will spit flames and colored lights will give a magical visual effect on the lotus blossom for all the observers.

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