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Tin Hau Temple, Joss House Bay

 
 

Listed as Grade I historical building by the Antiquities Advisory Committee (building of outstanding merit of which every effort should be made to preserve if possible), the temple was built in 1266. This is the oldest and the largest Tin Hau Temple in Hong Kong which earns itself the name of "the Big Temple" (大廟).

Origin of the Temple

During Song Dynasty(宋朝), two brothers from Fujian Province(福建省) came to live in Kowloon. They made a living by shipping salt to the mainland for sale. One day, the two brothers were hit by strong wind and were swept from their boat. Shouting for help from Tin Hau while struggling in the sea, they were drifted to safety on the beach at Joss House Bay. The brothers then built a temple to honour Tin Hau. Later when the descendents of the two brothers found that the temple had fallen into disrepair, they built a new Tin Hau Temple at the present location.

Tin Hau (Goddess of the Sea or Queen of Heaven)

Tin Hau (天后) who is also called Matsu (Mother-Ancestor)(媽祖) was a native of Fujian Province. She met a Taoist priest at the age of 13 who taught her how to predict the future and help those who were sick and weak. It was said that she travelled about the sea on a mattress made of reed to save the people who were being drowned. People therefore looked upon her as the goddess for safety on the sea.

Architectural Setting

主殿

神壇

佛堂

銅鐘

彩門

 

The temple has an imposing facade which faces a spacious frontage. The protruding eaves, supported by two stone columns immediately before the doorway, form the porch. The main building is flanked by four side halls, two on each side. The side halls can only be reached through the circular side doors of the main buildings. The left two are dedicated to a Dragon Bed and Matreya Buddha (Laughing Buddha) respectively while the side hall on the right are the temple keeper's office. The main hall houses the Tin Hau image. Two miniatures of Tin Hau's vessels of two and a half metre long are placed on both sides of the main hall.

Historical & Cultural Relics

Notable objects in the temple include an iron incense burner, a ceremonial pot and a copper bell, all were made in Qing Dynasty(清朝).

Other Deities

Apart from the main deity of Tin Hau, the temple also houses Lady Golden Flower (Patron of Pregnant Women).

Kwun Yum Festival

Tin Hau Festival falls on the 23rd day of the third lunar month. During this festival, the temple is thronged by thousands of fishermen and worshippers. Many worshippers also go to the side hall to fumble under the gay-coloured quilt on the Dragon Bed for articles of lucky portent such as lotus seeds, which they believe will bring babies to a family, or packets of lucky money, which brings profit in the coming year.

Renovations

The temple had undergone several renovations in 1840, 1877 and 1962.

 

 

 

Addresss:

Joss House Bay, Sai Kung, New Territories

Opening Hour:

8:00am to 5:00pm daily

Public Transport:

MTR-Po Lam Station Exit A, take the green minibus route 16 (Po Lam to Po Toi O), get off at the Clearwater Bay Golf & Country Club, walk for about 10 minutes down the steps nearby.

 

 

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