According to Taiwan folklore, QiniuMa (七娘媽) is a child-protecting goddess, with temples for worshiping by the youngsters. Qiniuma is also the weaving maiden (織女), in charge of matchmaking (媒撮之合). When teens turn sixteen years old, they will make a wish to this Goddess in a temple to receive blessings. Tradition has it in that the 16-year olds come to worship at the QiniuMa Temple with “adult ceremony” or “coming of age ceremony”.
The Health Department of Tainan plans to carefully re-create such a tradition. The site will have life-size make-belief billboards for picture-taking of this milestone event to be held on August 23. The ceremony signified the assumption of adult role in the family by sharing financial responsibility and by making no-smoking commitment. Realizing the maturity process and coming of adult age, the youth is expected to build self-control, discipline, and becoming responsible for one’s behavior. Tempted by peer pressure, curiosity, glamour-seeking to start smoking, the youth, during the adult ceremony, will be blessed and make a pledge to resist such temptations and makes no-smoking commitment by saying loudly “no” to smoking behavior. The “adult ceremony” will contribute to a unique tobacco-free culture.