The A-Ma Temple will be the oldest on the 3 significant Chinese temples in Macau. It had been to start with developed in 1488, older compared to the colony itself, and in reality, the title Macau was derived from A-Ma Kok, which means the Bay of A-Ma Temple. It really is situated dealing with the sea in the base of Rua do Admirante Sergio, within the southwest tip on the Macau Peninsula, with Barra Hill at the rear of it.
The A-Ma Temple is devoted to your goddess Matsu, regarded locally like a Ma, and regarded in Hong Kong as Tin Hau. The deity is really a patroness of seafarers and fishermen. Temples committed to her consists of the Thian Hock Keng in Singapore as well as Hainan Temple in Penang.
The origin of this temple is track to a legend. When, a junk sailing over the South China Sea on the clear day was all of a sudden caught inside a tempest. Everyone imagined they'd not survive the storm whenever a younger, appealing lady came forwards and ordered the sea to relax. Amazingly the storm died away plus the sea grew to become come. The junk arrived in the port of Hoi Keong. The female stepped ashore and walked as much as to major of the hill, which can be now Barra Hill. There was a glowing halo of light about her, and she ascended into heaven. The A-Ma Temple was constructed about the spot in which she enter on land to pay out tribute to her.
On the a lot more prosaic degree, the temple was constructed by fishermen who migrated for the Macau region from Fujian state in southern China for the duration of the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644). It had been created with the entrance with the Inner Harbor, at a location the place fishermen sheltered towards stormy climate.
When Portuguese ocean adventurers arrived within the 16th century and asked for that title in the location, they have been advised "A Ma Gao", which means Bay of A-Ma. This resulted within the peninsula staying termed Amagao, or by its present day title, Macau.
A-Ma Temple is developed around the slope of Barra Hill. The complicated is entered by way of the Memorial Arch. Passing this, paths wind in direction of diverse shrines within the complicated. The 4 principal buildings with the A-Ma Temple would be the the Prayer Hall, the Hall of Benevolence, the hall focused towards the goddess Guanyin (written Kun Iam in Macau) as well as Buddhist pavilion. Also, you'll find other pavilions devoted for the diverse deities inspired by Taoism, Confucianism, Buddhism too as neighborhood folk beliefs. Let us investigate the 4 principal halls.
The prayer hall is, I'd say, the key setting up with the A Ma Temple. Also identified as 1st Palace with the Holy Mountain, it really is the construction developed to the worship of the Ma. It had been to start with constructed in 1605 and rebuilt in 1629. We get this details from a stone inscription observed within the temple. The prayer hall is often a granite framework with lattice windows and up-pointing roofing ridges.
The oldest extant framework in the A-Ma temple is definitely the Hall of Benevolence, believed to get been constructed in 1488, and quite possibly happen to be rebuilt a handful of occasions. Additionally it is a construction of granite and brick, and constructed to the hill. Its is covered with green glazed roof tiles and decorative roof ridges.
Climbing larger up the temple, we attain the Hall of Kun Iam. We have no idea when it had been constructed as no record was located to that impact. It's a plain brick framework with flush gable roofing, identified as yingshan.
The Buddhist pavilion, or Zhengjiao Chanlin was created of the grander scale. Inside this is a shrine to A Ma along with a resting spot with yingshan roofing.
The busiest time in the yr for A-Ma Temple is all around Chinese New Yr, and yet again in late April - early May well, to the 23rd day with the third moon, when Cantonese operas can also be carried out to the pleasure on the deity.