red temple

Tin Hau Temple
(Sai Wan)

This 200-years-old temple is dedicated to Tin Hau, the Chinese Goddess of the sea. Fishermen and sailors come and pay respect to the Goddess for protection before they set sail. 

lion dances with blurred crowd
paper and incense

According to legend, Tin Hau was originally a girl named Lin Moniang from Weizhou, Fujian Province. It is believed that Lin has the ability to predict storms. She tragically lost her life at sea trying to save her father and brother when their boat sank. Since then, there have been sightings of her spirit appearing to ship wrecked sailors, leading them to safety. Words of the Goddess’s act and powers spread across the regions, especially along the coast. 

Once primarily a fishing village, there are more than 80 Temples dedicated to the Goddess where seamen and their families can pay respect all around Hong Kong. Some people would bring paper offerings and incense sticks, some worshipers even bring along their own offerings such as roast pork, cabbage and seasonal fruits. 

Every year on the 23rd day of the 3rd month in the Lunar Calendar, people gather to celebrate the Birthday of Tin Hau. 

lion dances with blurred crowd

During the festival, people can enjoy parades of dragon and lion dances, fa pau competition, Chinese opera performances on temporary bamboo stages and more. 

Cheung Chau, Peng Chau, Lamma island and Tsing Yi Island are also hot spots for the festival, as these islands have a number of Tin Hau Temples, and strong fishing roots.