Ha Chuong Hoi Quan Pagoda

Ho Chi Minh City

This Fujian temple is dedicated to the Goddess of Seafarers, Thien Hau (Thien Hau Thanh Mau), also known as Ma To. The four carved stone pillars, wrapped in painted dragons, were fashioned in China and delivered to Vietnam by boat. The temple – actually a guildhall – becomes extremely active during the Lantern Festival, a Chinese holiday held on the 15th day of the first lunar month (the first full moon of the new lunar year).

Noteworthy murals can be seen either side of the main altar, while impressive ceramic relief scenes decorate the roof. To the right of Thien Hau is Chua Sinh Nuong Nuong, a Taoist fertility goddess; to the left of Thien Hau is the ever-popular Taoist God of Wealth. Blending Buddhism into the mix, a figure of Quan Am looks on mercifully, clothed in white and draped with a pearl necklace. Note the upright fan in the main hall, used for dispelling calamity.

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