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南投縣竹山鎮紫南宮土地公和土地婆(陳美華攝)

土地公又稱「福德正神」,是臺灣非常普遍的神祗,在不同的地區、文獻裡,也有不同的稱呼,如「土治公」,「伯公」,「后土」,「社神」等等。土地公的傳說相當多,且經常有一般人因為生前行善或特別的地方功蹟,在死後向在世之人託夢成為土地公者,此外,更有許多土地公和當地的大樹公、石頭公等結合,成為地方的土地公,且古代本有立樹或立石為社神的概念。土地公的源頭固是介乎人和自然物之間,而土地公則全是男性人格神。
        土地公在臺灣民間的神譜裡地位並不高,然而,土地公堪稱是最普遍的神祇,幾乎隨處可見,因此也是最親民的神祇。土地公的起源一般理解皆是源於古代的社神,也就是土地之神。自古上自天子,下至庶民皆得立社奉祀,這是因為土地廣博,大地載育物,人受大地滋養,感恩土地,豈能不敬。由於土地無所不在,土地公也成為最親民的神祇,其職能亦相當廣泛,包括最普遍的守護聚落、農田、守墓地、農田水渠、山等,也是財神;包括各種生活上的雜務等等,有些土地公因為地處國立知名大學附近,甚至具有文昌的職能,學生為求考試順利,向土地公奉上甜點以求過關或金榜題名。
        土地公雖然地位較低,仍有其配祀神,包括土地婆、虎爺等。土地公是神祇中少數和配偶配祀的神祇,在許多地方都能發現土地婆,有別於中國大陸上的觀點,臺灣關於土地婆的傳說多是負面的,傳說土地婆較自私、心腸不好,會阻止土地公關懷平民百姓。不過,這樣的觀點似乎近年已隨著媒體的扭轉和女權較高而少為流傳。虎爺是多位神祇的座騎,包括城隍、保生大帝、財神等,土地公是其中之一,一般虎爺多陳設於中的神案下,又作下將軍。
        土地公的相關儀式活動,除了平時例行初一、十五,或初二、十六,民眾和店家定時的拜拜活動外,還有農曆二月初二日或八月十五日的土地公生日。有些地方宇因為較具規模,還有每天早晚定時上
        臺灣有幾座以財神職能知名的土地公,北有新北市中和區的烘爐地,中部有南投竹山的紫南宮,南部有屏東福安宮。烘爐地南山福德宮以其二十四小時皆可拜拜求財知名,是北部知名的財神土地公宮。紫南宮以出借發財金而知名,求財的民眾會向方「借貸」若干金額的現金,將這些現金放在身邊,祈求招來財運,一年後若財運不錯,應驗其願,則在原有的金額上添加若干金額,再歸還方,稱為「發財金」。屏東福安宮則以其成立悠久,規模宏大知名。此外,有些地方設有「土地公會」、「福德會」等組成祭祀團體,在聚落舉行「吃福會」,舉辦土地公戲等,是地方聚落與土地公相關的重要節慶活動。
 

臺南市白河區崁頂福安宮開基福德正神(蕭翔文攝)
 
 
新北市瑞芳區天福宮福德正神 (陳美華攝)



關鍵字:土地公、福德正神、社神、后土
 
考資料
1.林美容。1987。〈土地公-聚落的指標:以草屯鎮為例〉。《台灣風物》。三十七卷第一,頁53-81。
2.鄭水萍編。2006。《2006年土地公〔宇〕與聚落空間研究學術研討會論文集》。
3.阮昌銳。1987。《傳薪集》。台北:省立博物館。


Tudi gong(土地公), earth deity, is also called Fude zhengshen (福德正神). Fude zhengshen could be translated the Verbatim Orthodox Deity of Blessings and Virtue. Tudi gong is ranked low in the spectrum of popular deity in Taiwan although. He is the most common deity in Taiwan. The shrines dedicated to him are almost everywhere. In other words, Tudi gong is intimate to people.
The origin of Tudi gong is believed from ancient Sheshen(社神). Sheshen represents the earth. Up to an Emperor, down to the populace, everyone should worship to Sheshen. It is because people thought that the earth carrying, nourishing them. People cannot escape from the duty of respecting the earth. However, there are also many stories about Tudi gong today. The stories are often about that someone became Tudi gong after he was dead because his righteous or straight behavior when he was alive. The stories also provide the possibility why there are still so many Tudi gong today.
The duty of Tudi gong is variance, including tutelary deity of a village or a compound, a mountain, keeping a farm fertilize, watching over a graveyard etc. Some of them because of the shrine closed to a university, Tudi gong plays the role like Wenchang(文昌). Students pray to those Tudi gong by offering some deserts that they would pass a test or the entrance exam of a national university.
        Tudi gong is also enshrined accompanied with other deities. They are Tudi poi(土地婆), his wife, and Huye(虎爺), his ride who is a tiger deity. In Taiwan, the images of Tudi poi are different from Mainland China. In early Taiwan, most of them are negative. People thought that Tudi poi is selfish and not kind. Sometimes she even dissuades Tudi gong from helping people. However, this negative image is changed because of women’s rights being high today. Tiger is the sedan of many deities. Tudi gong is one of them. Tiger is a symbol of mountain. Tudi gong rides a tiger meaning the control of mountain. It is also believed that Huye, the tiger could bring a fortune to people.
        Though the shrines dedicated to Tudi gong are everywhere, there are still some famous Tudi gong ‘s temples gathering people around Taiwan. They are located separately in the north, middle, and south of Taiwan. The northern one is located at Chun-Ho area, New Taipei City(新北市中和區). The temple is named Hongludi(烘爐地). The temple at Middle Taiwan is Zinan temple(紫南宮). The souther one is Fuan temple (福安宮)in Pinton(屏東) county. The reason that they become famous is the same. They are believed to be a fortune god. Peoples thought that praying to those Tudi gong makes oneself be rich. At Zinan temple, people borrow some money from the Tudi gong. The loan is called Fa-Tsi Jing(發財金). People thought that they would earn some money and get luck by borrowing Fa-Tsi Jing. After one year, people return the Fa-Tsi Jing back and add a number as an offering to thank Tudi gong. Besides, there are also some festivals held by a village or group centered with Tudi gong. People would gather to take a meal getting a share of grace from Tudi gong.
 
Keywords:
Tudi gong, earth deity, gods of wealth, Earth God association
 
Reference
  1. 林美容。1987。〈土地公-聚落的指標:以草屯鎮為例〉。《台灣風物》。三十七卷第一,頁53-81。
  2. 鄭水萍編。2006。《2006年土地公〔宇〕與聚落空間研究學術研討會論文集》。
  3. 阮昌銳。1987。《傳薪集》。台北:省立博物館。
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