Friday, May 28, 2010

Hong Kong: Birthday of Tam Kung Festival 譚公誕 at Shau Kei Wan

Speaking of festivals, I was lucky that three major Hong Kong festivals coincided with our trip. The Cheung Chau Bun Festival 長洲太平清醮, Birthday of Lord Buddha 佛誕, and the Birthday of Tam Kung 譚公誕 all fall on the same day, the eighth day of the fourth lunar month, which was May 21 this year. I was able to visit two of them.

While my family was making their way to Hong Kong Disneyland, I took the MTR to Shau Kei Wan, where the Tam Kung Temple is located, to watch the procession that celebrates the Birthday of Tam Kung 譚公誕.

Tam Kung is a very respected deity among the fishermen and boat people of Hong Kong. He is associated with safety at sea. He was said to have blessed seafarers during the Yuan Dynasty and was known for his weather forecasting and curing diseases.

The procession to the temple, which lasts from 10 a.m. to 12 noon, includes people dressed as gods in Chinese fairy tales, drums and gongs, lion, unicorn and dragon dances, food offerings and fa pau (or paper floral shrines).

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