On May 2nd, for the purpose of developing Mazu Culture and protecting national intangible cultural heritage, Tianjin Mazu Temple (Heavenly Empress Palace) held a grand empire fair to celebrate Mazu’s 1053-year birthday, and seven dance troupes (called Huahui or Huanghui) took it in turns to show their fantastic performances.
On the lunar calendar, March 23 is Goddess Mazu’s birthday. As one of three great Chinese fiestas, the ceremony of worshiping Mazu has been passed down from generation to generation in Tianjin. It follows distinct characteristics of Tianjin Culture and contains not only the sacrificial ceremony but also the Heavenly Empress‘s tour for spreading good fortune, splendid street performances and sharing festival dumplings and longevity noodles.
The celebration on May 2nd was the greatest ever in history, filled with buzz and excitement. During the ceremony, prayers lit candles to pay tribute to victims in earthquake-stricken areas in Sichuan Province.
After the grand ceremony, five goddesses including Mazu make a tour of the streets in their beautiful chariots. Street performances of seven Huahui teams made of 300 folk artisans showed their unique skills respectively, covering dragon dance, lion dance and so on, which won people’s continuous cheers. And at noon the Temple donated 3000 catties of longevity noodles to tourists and worshippers.
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