Sam Tai Tze & Pak Tai Temples, Sham Shui Po
Origin of Sam Tai Tze Temple
It was said that in 1894, a terrible epidemic broke out in Sham Shui Po. The Hakka(客家) people brought the image of the patron deity Sam Tai Tze, from their native place in Huiyang(惠陽) to Sham Shui Po to help suppress the epidemic. They carried the image to parade in the district, and the epidemic subsided. The Hakka people attributed this to the divine power of Sam Tai Tze. The temple presently houses some artifacts of the late Qing Dynasty(清朝), such as bells and drums dating back to a hundred years ago.
Sam Tai Tze/Na Cha (also named as San Taizi/Nazha)- the Third Prince (三太子/哪吒)
Sam Tai Tze who is better known by his real name "Na Cha"(哪吒). He was the third son of a great general in the Chinese legend, Fengshen Yanyi (Deification of the God)《封神演義》. After his death, Na Cha's Taoist teacher reincarnated his spirit in a lotus flower and gave him a spear and a pair of flaming wheels for him to fly about. With these weapons, he helped the future emperor of Zhou Dynasty(周朝) to overturn the Shang Dynasty(商朝). The Jade Emperor awarded him to be the chief commander of the 36 Celestial Generals of the Heaven and guarded the door of the Heaven ever after. He is known for his power to overcome demons and ghosts.
Pak Tai (also named as Bei Di) - Supreme Emperor of the North(北帝)
Pak Tai, also named Yuen Tin Sheung Tai(玄天上帝)(Supreme Emperor of the Dark Heaven), was a prince of the Shang Dynasty (商朝). During the fall of the Shang Dynasty, the Demon King ravaged the world. The Taoist Primeval Deity (also known as Yuen Chi Tin Chuen (元始天尊) then ordered the Jade Emperor (玉帝) to appoint Pak Tai as the commander of twelve heavenly legions to fight the evil. Pak Tai defeated the Demon King and was subsequently granted the title of Supreme Emperor of the Dark Heaven. In Pak Tai temples, the bronze tortoise and serpent under the feet of Pak Tai's image signifies that the good always prevails over the evil.
Apart from the main deities of Sam Tai Tze and Pak Tai, the temple also houses Tai Sui (the Sixty Gods of Time), Kwun Yum (Goddess of Mercy), Tong Sam Chong (Monk who required Buddhist), Pao Kung (God of Justice), Lady Golden Flower (Patron of Pregnant Women) and Shing Wong (City God).
Pak Tai Festival/Sam Tai Tze Festival
Pak Tai Festival and Sam Tai Tze Festival fall on the 3rd and 18th day of the third lunar month respectively.