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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.


Taking advantage of such a tradition, Tainan City Mayor Ching-Te Lai (賴清德) will present certificates to those youngsters turning 16 at the red ribbon cutting ritual of this coming-of-age ceremony which falls on Thursday. This ceremony integrates the long-held religious tradition with the new no-smoking behavior commitment. After that, the Department of Health will give out limited editions of 250 commemorative cell phone storage cases and QiniuMa calligraphy brushes to participants as mementos.
Modify Date:2015/01/26 Publish Date:2012/08/27