Good Fortune of Madou, Grandmas and Sisters Shaddocks
In the old days, Madou was "Mattau Community," one of the four major communities of Siraya Tribe. The land of the community had an old name called the land of "Daofeng Neihai" or "Storm-Inflicted Inland Sea" (there is "Daofeng Neihai Story House" established). In winter, cold wind blew up sea water to rush to the port, creating a sandbank at the inland sea. At that time, the indigenous people grew betel nut trees to form a border surrounding their settlement, "betel nut residence." During the Dutch occupation period, the Dutch set up a church-run university, intending to recruit more disciples.
In the early years of the Qing Dynasty, Daofeng Neihai Ports were built as trading ports. At that time, sugar was the main trading business. Sugar business was regarded as one of the businesses run by "rich and powerful families." Right then Lin Family constructed 7 houses. Presently, only "Lin Family Historic House" and "Guo Family Historic House" are still in existence. In the Qing Dynasty, the military general, Zheng Cheng-Gong was meritorious in governing Taiwan very well, and was thus rewarded by the imperial government a piece of land in Madou. This was how the name of Madou "Zongye" (meaning military general in Mandarin Chinese) came from. During the years of the Qing Dynasty, Madou Ancient Port was at its most flourishing period. Later on, the diversion of Zengwen River made the port silted, gradually diminishing the importance of the port. Currently, the site of the port has been reconstructed as "Madou Ancient Port and Juetou Historic Site Cultural Park," in which there is a small area of "Shuei Juetou" built up by mixed construction materials of glutinous rice, brown sugar and lime. Visitors can imagine a scene of the busy port in those glorious days.
By the time the Japanese ruled Taiwan, although the sugar business of Madou was taken over and run by the Japanese company, the local rich families still held shares and operation rights of the sugar company. At that time many bars were established in Madou, which very soon became a commercial and trading center of the neighboring towns and cities. There was a special scene on a street in Madou-- a long and luxurious wall of "14 linked houses" in "Baroque-style architecture." In the Qing Dynasty, the streets and roads were built mainly for access to different temples. During the Japanese occupation period, the original S-shaped temple-accessible roads and streets of the city were re-planned. They were straightened to be crossroads like today's. Meanwhile, the economic positions of the business streets were changed accordingly.
The commercial prosperity of Madou Town attracted a lot of residents to settle down here. Temples worshipping different religious gods were subsequently established, such as Beiji Temple, Huji Temple, Baoan Temple, Narcissus Temple, etc., protecting the health and future of the next generations of the local residents. Among these temples, the most famous religious activity was the unique "Parade of 12 Grandmas and Sisters" held by "Lady Linshuei of Narcissus Temple." These 12 Grandmas and Sisters protected very young children and pregnant women. In the early 1950's, medical science was not advanced yet, so that religious beliefs of temples played very important roles in the lives of the local people.
Besides commercial development, agriculture was also an important industry in Madou with sound development. In addition to the original sugar cane plantation, shaddock plantation was imported to Madou during the period of Kangxi reign. Shaddock even became an important agricultural product here in the later days, even up to today. "Madou shaddock" has now become a renowned fruit in the whole Taiwan. The fruit is harvested 2 weeks before Mid-Autumn Festival. Its juiciness and sweet taste have made Madou shaddock so popular that the supply can never meet the demand. Since this phenomenon echoes with the religious legends, people named the shaddocks as "Grandmas and Sisters Shaddocks." It seemed that imperceptibly the various gods were taking special care of Madou and making the land fertile.
Every Monday evening, regular night market takes place on "Madou Old Street." Local residents like to roam the night market a lot. In fact, there is a half-day tour arranged for tourists to join. In the tour, you can visit different streets and lanes to listen to old stories about Madou and search for your desirable treasures. If you wish to have a baby of your own some day, please don't forget to come to Madou to make a wish for your future baby. You don't have to care much about from where to begin your travel trip. Just set off right now!