The Red Thread: Praying to Yue Lao for Love
Where and how to pray to Yue Lao in Taipei
· 3 min read
In the bustling city of Taipei, Taiwan, amidst neon lights and modern skyscrapers, there lies a profound and timeless practice. It's a spiritual quest that tugs at the heartstrings of locals and tourists alike – praying to Yue Lao, the Chinese god of love and marriage. This tradition, steeped in mythology and folklore, is a journey filled with hope, destiny, and the mysterious red thread of love.
The Moon's Matchmaker
Despite its modernity, Taiwan embraces its rich cultural heritage. Numerous temples across Taiwan are dedicated to a pantheon of deities, and Yue Lao is amongst the most revered ones. Also known as the "Old Man Under the Moon," Yue Lao is the legendary deity who is said to be responsible for matchmaking. He binds two people with an invisible red thread, symbolizing their fated connection. The deity's wisdom and the red thread's guidance are sought by many hoping to find their destined partner or to strengthen their existing relationships.
Of the numerous temples across Taiwan, there are some temples that stand out more than others for its spiritualness and efficacy in answering prayers about love. If you will be heading to Taipei and planning to pray for love, two of the most popular spots to seek Yue Lao's guidance are Xia-Hai City God Temple at Dihua Street and Lungshan Temple in Wanhua. As each temple follows different practices, there will be slight differences in how to go about with your prayers.
Xia-Hai City God Temple
The Xia-Hai City God Temple is a small temple located at Dihua Street. But while the temple is small, it is extremely popular and well-known for its efficacy. The temple is visited not only by locals, but its name and efficacy is renowned internationally, and is especially popular amongst Japanese visitors.
The main diety at the Xia-Hai City God Temple is the City God, who is believed to be a protector of the city. The City God also takes care of the good and evil in the human world, and decides on judgement and punishments. The Xia-Hai City God Temple also houses other deities, including Yue Lao.
How to pray at Xia-Hai City God Temple
🕤 Opening Hours: 7am - 7pm daily
Lungshan Temple is one of Taipei's oldest and most prominent temples. The temple itself is a a very popular tourist destination, but what is less known to most tourists is that the Yue Lao at this temple is said to have one of the highest rates of fulfilment.
The main deity in this temple is the Guanyin, and Yue Lao is housed in the left of the back altar. The Lungshan Temple has restricted the use of joss sticks, so you wouldn't need to get any if you were praying there. When praying to the deities, just put your palms together.
How to pray at Lungshan Temple
🕤 Opening Hours: 6am - 9.45pm daily
Tips and Things to Note
If will be praying to Yue Lao, there are some practices and things to note:
- If you are praying for love, before heading to the temple, prepare a list of traits and criteria that you look for in a partner. Be specific — instead of a general descriptor like 'tall', give the range of heights that you are looking for. The more specific you are, the higher the chances of your wishes being fulfilled.
- If you are preparing your own offerings, it is believed that Yue Lao likes sweet food. Some of the most common offerings include fruits, candy, or dessert. Otherwise, you can just get the offerings that are sold at the temple, or get flowers from the vendors outside the temples.
- Keep the red strings in your wallet after you have completed your prayer. But if you do lose the red strings after praying, you don't have to worry too much about it. Some people believe that a lost red string also means that the string has been attached to your potential partner!
- If your wishes do get fulfilled, you should head back to the temple to thank Yue Lao for fulfilling your wishes. Again, bring along some offerings to show your gratitude.
- Be appropriately dressed. Don't wear a cap in the temple as it is considered disrespectful.