Hau or T'ien Hou, --known as the Goddess of Sky, said to safeguard fishermen
in sea by storms and from drowning. There are numerous holy shrines
constructed in her glory, along the coastal areas of China, more dominated
by fisher communities. It is a common persistence, prevailing over the
entire region that the Ocean Goddess flies across the sky on
clouds with her wind servants, looking for sailors who are in danger,
rescuing them from all hazards.
The Tin Hau festival arrives in the month of April or some times in early
may normally celebrated on the 23rd day of the Third Moon.
The legend has it that once there was a young girl named Mo Niang. She was
considered as the "Queen of Heaven", and is the "Mother"
of boat people and sailors.
Tin Hau was born in Fukien in the year 1093. There is an interesting story
behind this holy figure---
one day, as usual her father and brothers went
deep in to the sea for fishing. At home, while sleeping she had a dream that
her father and brother were drowning, she flew over the deep sea on clouds
and rescued her family just as they were about to drown. It was also
believed that Tin Hau was able to predict the storms and sea travelers
fortunes. She died at the age of twenty, since then she is called as Tin Hau.
There are numerous shrines and temples dedicated to her spirit constructed
on the shore side. On her birthday, the entire fisher community, sails to Da
Miao - one of the most prestigious temples constructed in honor of Goddess
in Joss House Bay. The people pay their homage in the temple praying for
their safety in the coming year.