Friday, April 24, 2009

Tin Hau : 天后

last weekend was tin hau's birthday.
who's tin hau?
tin hau is the goddess of the sea.

in hong kong there are more than 70 temples paying homage to tin hau.
her birthday (the 3rd moon) is celebrated by hong kong's huge fishing community at tin hau temples and at sea to bring them safety, security, fine weather and full fishing nets during the coming year.

this year i decided to go to a tin hau temple not far from where i live to check out the scene.
it's a great little temple situated at the end of a rocky point, but the best part is having to walk through an old untouched fishing village to get to it.

i couldn't help buying some spicy smoked dried meat (man that sounds disgusting in english) from this old man in the village. it was delicious!

although it had started to drizzle there was a hive of activity as people made their offerings and prayers to the sea goddess. inside the temple are huge incense coils hanging from the ceiling sending out plumes of aromatic smoke and ash.
don't do what i did and look up... a nice big flake of ash fell right into my eye.
i think tin hau just blessed me!

a short taxi ride away was another tin hau temple which we had never been too, so with nothing better to do K-chan and i went to see what was happening there.
the closer we got to the temple the louder we could hear the sound of trumpets and the beating of drums.
we were in luck. we had arrived just as the dragon dance was getting underway.
there was also a piu sik
parade underway where young kids are carried on wooden platforms following the route of the fa pau or ornately decorated paper wreath offerings.

beside the temple was a huge bamboo erected structure where chinese opera was being sung.
the music for the opera was even being played by a mini orchestra consisting of about 6 elderly musicians.

i'm glad i ventured out to experience a cultural event held by hong kong's local community.
and let's hope those fishermen have a good year ahead!


pascale said...

It's a beautiful post to see some real Hong Kong things.
Well done!

Luuworld said...

nice pics! who knew things like this still went on in hong kong?! wonderful!

world of sekimachihato said...

* pascale
yes, this is the real hong kong, and the hong kong i love!

world of sekimachihato said...

* Luuworld
although hong kong has lost some of its unique history, it always puts a smile on my face when i see such events happening around hong kong.
let's hope these don't get lost too!

Ca said...

Lovely photos, I've always wanted to visit Hong Kong. And thanks for the info, now I know who Tin Hau is! Haha!

world of sekimachihato said...

* Ca
i hope one day you can visit hong kong, it's a unique place with a real mix of east meets west.
but be aware, your lovely fashion tastes may not work well over here, it's way too hot!

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