Tin Hau Festival at Tap Mun – a photo-essay

Photos and text by Mike Kennedy

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I decided to go out for a while today (Sunday 28 April) and took bus 94 from near home in Tai Mong Tsai to Wong Shek Pier and then a 20 minute ferry ride to Tap Mun (Grass Island).  I was very pleasantly surprised to see the final day of Tap Mun’s celebration, see below.    We had fine weather, no rain, and not too hot or humid, and not too crowded (most people would have gone during the first few days I assume). All in all, a very pleasant Sunday outing.
 

 

Story behind the celebration

Life was hard for Tanka fisherfolk. In 1778, the To clan gathered on Tap Mun to celebrate a family wedding. A thunderstorm erupted suddenly and screaming winds tore across the harbour. The villagers knelt down and prayed for the intercession of Tin Hau, who they believed safeguarded their community, boats and livestock. They promised to stage a Tai Ping Ching Chiu celebration every 10 years if she saved them from the storm’s fury. Some 220 years later, the promise is still being honoured.

South China Morning Post

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