In an effort to save resource and help protect the environment, Taipei’s Xingtian Temple has announced that it will remove its large incense burner and stop offering tables starting tomorrow.

The decision was made in line with rapid changes in the environment and the increasingly serious global warming – trends that temple managers said remind them of the need to make better use of resources and treat all beings with kindness and compassion.

Instead of offering cakes, fruit and flowers and burning incense, the temple is suggesting worshipers show their respect to the deities by simply clapping their hands and praying.

The decision comes 12 years after the temple reduced the number of incense burners from five to two.

Temple managers say the temple sees more than six million worshipers each year, adding that the air pollution caused by incense burning is detrimental to the health of worshippers and volunteers.

Temple managers say this is the temple’s biggest reform in half a century and a first amongst all Daoist temples in Taiwan.

Other temples across the island have said they are currently not seeking to follow in Xiantian Temple’s steps.


Image via Luke Ma