Tin Hau (also known as "Mazu", "Niangma” or "A-Ma”) was born in Meizhou, Putian, Fujian, in the early years of the Northern Song Dynasty. Her father Lin Weique was a government official responsible for coastal security. Legend has it that when Tin Hau was born, the sky was covered with colourful clouds, but since she had not made a sound from birth to her first full moon, she was given the name Li Moniang (literally “silent lady”).
Tin Hau was said to be a gifted child who liked to chant the scriptures and worship the Buddha. As she grew older, she developed the supernatural power to predict weather changes and saved many fishermen who went out to sea. At the age of 29, she climbed a mountain in Weizhou, Fujian, and disappeared – some said she had ascended to heaven and became an immortal. Villagers thus cast a statue in her image and worship her in a shrine.
Since Hong Kong was a fishing village in its early days, fishermen and voyagers worshipped Tiu Hau, seeking protection while they were at sea. Tin Hau Temples were thus built all over Hong Kong. Meanwhile, Tin Hau’s birthday is celebrated on the 23rd day of the 3rd lunar month every year, with many Tin Hau Temples organising traditional celebratory activities such as fa-pao (paper floral tribute) gatherings, parades, temple fairs and shengong (thanksgiving) operas. People also take the opportunity to pray for peace, good weather and good fortune.
Safe voyage; abundant catch
Tai Hau Festival (23rd day of 3rd lunar month)
Tin Hau Temple, Yaumatei