Tin Hau's Birthday on Big Wanshan Island
The Mazu (Goddess of the Sea) Birthday Festival is celebrated at a century-old Mazu Temple in Wanshan Village of Wanshan Island. The Wanshan Tin Hau Festival takes place on the 23rd day of the third lunar month.
A shed is set up and then the chairman or a prestigious representative throws cups until a yin and a yang cup (positive and negative) appears, which refers to the auspicious hour when Mazu would be reverently moved from inside the shed for worship. In the meantime, a ceremonious rite of worship with roasted pigs and a feast with a thousand participants is held.
An auction or donation takes place during the feast to raise funds for maintenance of the Mazu Temple. A Cantonese Opera Troupe stages performances for three days, the first for Mazu in the company of a prestigious person after a ritual and the rest for the fisher folk. The Mazu birthday feast, with thousands of islanders participating, lasts three and a half days, and winding things up, Mazu is courteously transported back to the temple on the final day.