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Tin Hau Temple

Tin Hau was born in Putien, Fukien, probably in 960. She died at 27, after a life of holiness and miracles, and was canonized by local acclaim. Later, the Emperor recognized her worship, eventually under the title of “Tin Hau”, the “Empress of Heaven”. The earliest of her temples outside Fukien is the Tai Miu on Joss House Bay in Hong Kong, founded in 1012. Originally a sea-goddess, land-people later worshipped her as well, because of her ability to rescue people in danger.

This Stanley Tin Hau Temple standing on a highly propitious Fung Shui site, was founded by 1767. It is unusually designed, with a large number of deities arranged on a bench around the walls, with Tin Hau in the centre. A tiger-skin on the wall frightens off evil spirits; this tiger appeared in Stanley in the 1940s. Two Japanese bombs hit the temple during the Japanese attack on Stanley (1942): they did not explode, and so the crowds of people sheltering there were miraculously unharmed. The temple is especially busy on the Birthday of the Goddess, the 23rd of the 3rd Lunar Month, when the local villagers celebrate with performances of Chinese Opera.