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The Colorful Tin Hau Festival

 2015-04-27    Jenny Huang    Activities    Hong Kong    1945  

The Tin Hau Festival (天后诞) is one among the most graceful celebrations of Hong Kong, conducted every year at Tin Hau temples. There are so many Tin Hau temples scattered across the island. Tin Hau is a deity known as the Goddess of the Sea. The story of the deity is strongly connected to the livelihood of Hong Kong’s local community, who had their life connected with the ocean. Tin Hau is alternatively known as the "Patron Saint” who believed to be the protector of the island city. As most of Hong Kong communities are believed to be originated from the sea in mythological terms, Tin Hau is very important in their traditional island life. 

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As per their belief, it is she who protects fishermen and sailors from any possible disaster! You can find lots of such temples in her in the fishing islands. Tin Hau's Birthday is celebrated on the 23rd day of the 3rd month in the Lunar Calendar which normally falls in April or May as per the Gregorian calendar. The Tin Hau Festival is also known as Mazu. These celebrations bring out the festive mood of the communities and are celebrated by wearing violent colored costumes to honor the most powerful deity.

Temples & Boats

You can find 60 Tin Hau temples in Hong Kong, all are scattered across the island and the all Tin Hau temples will be celebrating the festival. Even the smallest of the small Tin Hau Temple will be having some celebration going on. Some of the liveliest celebrations you can find during the festival are the colorful decorated boats, which are done with rejoicing mood. It is a magnificent visual treat to watch the brightly colored boats carrying various types of flotilla along with worshippers move through the waterways of Hong Kong to make dawn offerings at Da Miao, the ‘Great Temple’. The colorful celebrations are rich with marching bands, dancing drummers and dragon dancers are some of the beautiful enjoyment one would never forget in his life. The celebration processions will be further enriched with the presence of Kung Fu fighters in their traditional costumes and various types of flotillas.

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Fa Paus

Fa Paus are beautiful towers adorned with paper floral tributes and are unique during the Tin Hau Festival to honor the Goddess of the Sea. There are also the usual feasts and offerings, boat processions, paper and incense burning and of course firecrackers in the coastal areas as part of the celebrations.

Getting to Sai Kung 

Hong Kong is well connected with mainland China and also having one of the busiest International Airport. You can reach Sai Kung for the celebrations by Bus 92 from Diamond Hill MTR. A more scenic option might be the ferries that service to Sai Kung especially for the day. Also, there will be a daily ferry service from Central Pier.

Celebrations

The temple has well preserved, quite fine stonework, with a regal entrance overlooking the bay. Thousands of worshipers and tourists throng in to Tin Hau Temple, the oldest in Hong Kong at Joss House Bay, every year to celebrate the mother of all celebrations. After worshiping in the main temple, visitors would “touch the dragon bed” in the side temple to get some luck. With lots of rejoicing, fancy colored costumes, celebrations, teamed up with wonderful activities of fun and enjoyment the celebration will be always exhilarating. Adding to the color is the host of fruit and dumplings brought by worshipers, to keep Tin Hau well-fed. Come and enjoy Hong Kong city’s brightest, loudest and most enjoyable celebrations.

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Tin Hau Festival Tour

On 11 May, 2015, join in our special program of One Day Tin Hau Festival Tour.

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