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A-Ma Festival

English: A-Ma Festival, Portuguese: Festividade da Deusa A-Ma, Traditional: 娘媽誕, Simplified: 娘妈诞

A-Ma Festival is one of Macau’s biggest annual events, taking place every 23rd day of the 3rd moon, usually in April or May.

The festival pays homage to A-Ma, also known as Tin Hau and the Goddess of Seafarers, from whom Macau was named.

A-Ma Festival 2024 Dates, Tin Hau and Mazu, Opera, Macau

Legend has it that A-Ma was helpful in calming turbulent waters while helping fishers and boatmen navigate a safe landing during a storm. The celebrations are hugely popular in Macau because it once belonged to a thriving fishing community.

The A-Ma Festival can be observed in the A-Ma temple in Macau as these tranquil places of worship come alive with Cantonese Opera, lively lion dances, fireworks, traditional rituals, and much more – all to celebrate the powerful deity. After the opera, images of the Goddess are returned to the temple to show honour and respect. She is the most famous deity in Macau, with thousands of pilgrims who always pray to her and leave offerings in the many temples around Macau.

In addition, the festival also marks a day when current seafarers take their families to visit the ancient temple located in the Inner Harbour. The temple is the oldest in the country, and many of its elements are over 600 years old. A large rock can be found by the temple entrance, along with an image of a traditional boat that dates back over 400 years, to pay tribute to the boat that is said to have carried A-Ma to the country.

The temple is situated along the hill’s steep slopes and has excellent Feng Shui, making it a highly revered place of worship. Numerous other shrines can be found along the hillside, though the topmost shrine is that of Kun Iam, also known as the Goddess of Mercy.

Planning your trip around the A-Ma Festival is worth it – it is truly a delight to see all the festivities and celebrations for a deity close to the locals’ hearts.

About the author

Holiday Point

Michael created and runs the Macau Travel Hub website, as well as the Holiday Point travel brand that incorporates a network of 16 location based travel information and attraction websites around Australia, Asia, and around the world.

With 25+ years of online experience and a passion for travel (having visited Macau many times and walked around nearly every single part of the City), Michael not only researches and writes content for the website, he also tinkers behind the scenes with the website functionality & design.

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