Introduction of Thien Hau Temple
Ba Thien Hau Temple is an ancient and sacred temple of the Chinese people in District 5, Ho Chi Minh City. The temple was built in the 18th century to worship Thien Hau, the protector of seafarers. The temple is not only a place to practice and pray, but also a unique and beautiful architectural masterpiece. This will be an attractive destination for tourists and Buddhists, because it brings experiences about Chinese beliefs, culture and history. Please join us in discovering interesting things about Ba Thien Hau Temple in this article.
Story of Ba Thien Hau
According to scholar Vuong Hong Sen, Thien Hau Thanh Mau’s real name is Lam Mac Nuong. Mi Chau island people, Bo Duong (Phuoc Kien). She was born on March 23, Giap Than year (1044), during the reign of King Tong Nhan Tong.
As a child, at the age of eight, she could read, and at the age of eleven, she practiced Taoism. At the age of thirteen, she received a set of “Original Secrets” from the divine poet Vo Y. One time, she accidentally found another stack of ancient books in a well, then read them and practiced to attain enlightenment. One time, her father was on a boat with her two brothers. Transporting salt to Jiangxi province to trade, the boat encountered a big storm midway. At that time, she was weaving fabric next to her mother, but she sensed danger to her loved ones, so she went into a trance to save her father and two brothers. She used her teeth to bite her father’s shirt and held her two brothers with both hands.
In the meantime, her mother called out to her, forcing her to answer. As soon as she opened her lips to answer, the waves swept her father away, so only her two brothers could be saved. From then on, she demonstrated special abilities in the field of astronomy and gradually became a goddess worshiped by fishermen. So every time boats at sea are in trouble, people call her.
In the year of Canh Dan (1110), the Song Dynasty ordained her as “Thien Hau Thanh Mau”.
History of Thien Hau temple
Thien Hau Temple was built in 1760 (18th century) by a group of Chinese immigrants to Vietnam who contributed capital and contributions and was also restored many times. After 263 years of existence, on January 7, 1993, this place was recognized as a National Architectural and Artistic Monument.
Location and opening hours of the Temple
Thien Hau Temple in Ho Chi Minh City is also known as Ba Cho Lon Temple because it is located next to Cho Lon. The temple was built in the most famous Chinatown in Saigon.
To get to Thien Hau Temple, you just need to go straight towards Nguyen Thi Minh Khai, Hung Vuong, and Hong Bang and then turn left at Luong Nhu Hoc Street to get there
Address: Ba Thien Hau Temple
Thien Hau Temple is open all week from Monday to Sunday. Holidays and New Year will have other changes. Opening hours are from 6:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. (Morning) and 1:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. (afternoon)
Explore the architecture of Ba Thien Hau temple with Chinese characteristics
Thien Hau Temple has seal-shaped architecture, including a combination of 4 pavilions linked together to form the word “khau” or “quoc”. All materials: bricks, tiles,… and the way of sealing are taken from China and maintained in the Chinese style.
The way Chinese people build is very special because the bricks are built straight without plaster but are still straight and straight as if drawn. Thien Hau Temple is designed in a stylized three-door style at the main entrance and has two additional corridors on both sides. The rows of houses in the middle form the front hall, middle hall, and back palace (main hall).
Front side of the temple
At Thien Hau Temple, the front hall has been arranged so that the altar of Phuc Duc Chanh Than is on the right side, while the altar of Mon Quan Vuong Ta is placed on the left side. In addition, when you visit here, you also have the opportunity to admire the stone stele conveying stories about Thien Hau Thanh Mau, along with paintings of Thien Hau appearing on the water waves.
Central of Thien Hau Temple
The temple’s central hall displays the “Phat Lan” urn set, which includes 5 exquisitely sculpted statues. On both sides, you can see the image of an ancient dragon boat combined with figures and an ancient palanquin painted with gold jewelry. These items are used to receive her on the day of her death.
The back hall is divided into 3 spaces:
– The middle compartment contains the statue of Thien Hau Thanh Mau, created from ancient wooden blocks and about 1 meter high.
– The right side of this space is the place to honor Kim Hoa Nuong Nuong, while the left side is the place to worship Dragon Mother Nuong Nuong.
– The two side rooms contain statues worshiping Quan Thanh, and Than Tai.
All statues are decorated with elaborately embroidered splendid costumes.
Precious treasures are kept at the temple
Thien Hau Temple currently has about 400 ancient items, including embossed paintings showing the images of the four sacred animals including Dragon, Ly, Quy, and Phung. In particular, the eaves, roofs, and walls of the temple are decorated with statues and reliefs made from fired ceramics, following traditional Chinese practice.
The main hall of the temple stores two bronze urns with the names Can Long in the 60th year and Dao Quang in the 10th year. In contrast, the middle hall displays a large blue urn with the name Quang Tu in the 12th year. Inside the large glass cabinet In the main hall, you will find the statue of the Eight Immortals with General D’Ariès, who in 1860 stopped French and Y-Pha-Nho soldiers from destroying the area. On both sides of the censer, there are palanquins made from good wood and painted with gold. During the Ba procession, a dragon boat carved with human figures is often used along with the palanquin.
In addition to the special features mentioned above, Thien Hau Temple also owns many works of agarwood statues, incense burners, and incense burners. You will also remember the impression of 10 horizontal paintings, 9 stone steles, 7 statues of gods, 6 stone statues, 2 small bells, 23 couplets, and 41 relief paintings,… All are fine. Crafted with incredible meticulousness and sophistication.
What is special about tourism at Ba Thien Hau temple?
Thien Hau temple is not only a sacred place, but also an interesting destination that many tourists discover when coming to Saigon.
Ideal "nostalgic" photoshoot
With the main colors red and gold, the temple creates a space filled with luxury and mystery. Moreover, each part of the temple possesses its beauty, attracting all visitors. For example, having a pink board, a sturdy green fence, and two brick walls are examples of this. And don’t miss the “national” angle of the spiral incense sticks hanging overhead, very unique and impressive.
A place to pray and seek the sacred
People convey that Thien Hau Temple is a sacred place used to pray. After visiting the interior rooms, visitors can spend some time studying prayers at Ba Thien Hau Temple or can write down their wishes on paper to pray and ask for blessings. Then hang them with incense rings. These aspirations are often related to prosperity, peace, and happiness for yourself and your family.
The Festival held at the temple
If you want to experience a vibrant atmosphere and more activities, you should choose the time from March 22 to 24 of the lunar calendar. This is the time when the annual Goddess Thien Hau Ceremony takes place, attracting a large number of Chinese and Vietnamese people to perform respectful rituals.
During these days, you will witness exciting activities such as lion dance, lion dance, dragon dance, as well as art performances performed by ethnic music groups, making the atmosphere more exciting.
Things to keep in mind when visiting Ba Thien Hau temple
Because Thien Hau Temple is a place you can visit but is also a sacred place, there are many rules you need to keep in mind to avoid risks when visiting:
– Time to visit: Consider the time, date, and time before going to the temple. Avoid coming without being welcomed by the temple
– Parking: You can park your car and motorbike in the parking lot in front and behind the temple.
– Costumes and activities:
+ Clothing: Thien Hau Temple is a sacred place, so you should consider choosing polite and discreet clothing.
+ Activities: In particular, do not arbitrarily touch, touch, or take any objects in the temple without the permission of the temple.
Ba Thien Hau Temple clearly demonstrates religious and spiritual values along with a special architectural style that bears a strong Chinese impression. Therefore, this is an option for tourists to visit and explore quiet moments outside the bustling urban area of Saigon. Let’s explore this with AN Tours Vietnam
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