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Also known as the “Tin Hau Festival”.  In the year 2018,  it falls on 8 May which is March 23rd of the lunar calendar.  Watch out because the lunar calendar does not match the normal calendar each year in the same way.

This is not a public holiday and you will only see something special actually very close to a Tin Hau temple – and probably only in the smaller communities particularly in fishing islands.

In some places also called Matsu (媽祖, pinyin: Māzǔ; literally “Mother-Ancestor”), this was a real lady — whose name was Lin Muoniang (林默娘) but after death became the Taoist Goddess of the Sea.  Because it is her who protects fishermen and sailors you will find a lot of temples to her on fishing islands.

Tin Hau is very important because she is the god of the sea and hence patron of fishermen.  as most of Hong Kong communities are originally from the sea she is very important in traditional island life.

In Hong Kong, around 60 temples are dedicated, at least partially to Tin Hau. They were mostly built around early Ching dynasty.    The temple in the Tin Hau area, east of Victoria Park, in Eastern District, on Hong Kong Island, has given its name to the area and to the MTR station serving it (Island line). There is a big temple for Tin Hau on Cheung Chau as well as Peng Chau because there are still fishermen in these areas..

You may find some particularly interesting celebrations at Joss House Bay, in Sai Kung (a fishing village in years gone by) where they have procession and traditional ceremonies at the local temple.  The Sai Kung Tin Hau temple is also called ‘big temple’ as you can guess it’s one of the major ones.  It was built in South Sung dynasty in 13th century.  It was then renovated in 1965 and 1992.  You can catch bus no. 92 from Choi Hung to Sai Kung town centre.  It takes about 5 minutes to get there.  Alternatively, New World First Ferry also runs special ferries to go there from North Point. ferry pier.  Check it out before you go.

In Yuen Long, in the New Territories, a parade takes place with colourful floats and lion dances — but Yuen Long is really a long long way — at least an hour bus ride from Central (catch the bus outside the HSBC Bank Building).  I heard there is something similar in Lei Yu Mun – the famous seafood place.  So, watch the floats, walk around the old stilt house villages and dine in a local seafood restaurant!

Other Chinese Gods:

– Kwan Tai
– Kwun Yum
– Che Kung
– Tam Kung
– Monkey King

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