After learning about Ma Zu festival on 16/4/2017, I decided to join in the celebration yesterday-19/4/17. According to the timetable from the temple, celebration will start from Monday 17 April till 19 April 2017. Ma Zu birthay is 19 April (according to the Chinese lunar calendar).
The celebration started 8pm. The crowd started coming in slowly 8.30pm onwards. Taoist believers paid their respect to the deity by making offerings, burning gold paper and offering incense joss sticks. The event was so colourful with a stage filled with chinese singers and shows for Ma Zu’s birthday. Many Taoist believers went across the ‘Ping An’ bridge (bridge of harmony) for a better year. Young and old got the ‘red stamp’ when they went across the bridge with loud prayer music in the background. Alot of Ma Zu’s deity friends were there to celebrate her birthday. They were people in trance coming in the form of different deities. What a sight and experience to behold!
Ma Zu deified form comes in the form of Lin Mo or Lin Moniang, a Fujianese shamaness traditionally dated to c. 960 – c. 987. Revered after her death as a patron of seafarers, including fishermen and sailors, her worship spread throughout China’s coastal regions and expatriate communities throughout Southeast Asia. She was thought to roam the seas, protecting her believers through miraculous interventions. She is now generally regarded by her believers as a powerful and benevolent Queen of Heaven, a role in which she is sometimes syncretized with similar figures, such as Guanyin and the Virgin Mary. Mazuism is most popular on Taiwan; her temple festival is a major event throughout the country, with the largest celebrations around her temples at Dajia and Beigang.
Here are some pictures.