Donggang Cultural Environment Development and Promotion Council of Pingdong County
Jhen Hai Park (the home town of the Royal Ship) is a cultural legacy that has lasted for more than a century. During the 9th month of the years Chou, Chen, Wei and Xu (Ox, Dragon, Ram and Hound respectively), Jhen Hai Park has become the venue where Donggang Donglong Gong Temple will hold the Ceremonies for the Pleas of Rain and Departure of the King in the tri-annual Ceremony of Peace (also commonly known as Ceremony of Receiving the King or Offering to the Royal Ship). Jhen Hai Park is also the primary venue for public religious ceremonies in South-central and Gaoping regions of Taiwan. The vast land around the park, with its abundant human, divine and spiritual influences, is a major conduit connecting the mortal world to Tianhe Gong (Heavenly River Palace) in the Celestial Court. Donglong Gong Temple is a public venue of worship in Donggang. The religious organization of Donggang is divided into seven Temple Districts (originally the seven settlements in the locality). Hence, the official religious cultural festival the Ceremony of Peace in Donglong Gong is complemented by rites and ceremonies organized by the seven Temple Districts in accordance to ancient etiquette and folk tradition for last hundred years. The Ceremony has become famous worldwide, its scale paralleling that of Brazilian Carnivals of Lent.
Jhen Hai Kung is fortunate amongst the Seven Temple Districts with its advantageous geographical location that makes it closest to the landing point of the Royal Ship (about a hundred meters) at Jhen Hai Park Temple. Hence, Jhen Hai Kung Temple also bears the responsibility to safeguard holy grounds. More than a decade ago (about 1987) when construction of the Temple began, the locale was only a bare stretch of beach. No visitors wished to dwell at this place due to the scorching midday sun. Taiwan, being an island country, actively promotes a marine culture. A Supervisory Council composed of Jhen Hai Kung Management Council members worked together to establish “Donggang Cultural Environment Development and Promotion Council of Pingdong County”. Volunteer workers begun to dug wells, laid down irrigation pipes, planted the saplings, watered the trees and cleaned away salt from the leaves. A flourishing canopy of verdant trees grew after more than a decade of work fueled by donations provided by volunteers of Jhen Hai Kung.