World ? Asia ? China ? Hong Kong

Tam Kung Birthday Festival

Birthday of Tam Kung celebrations, Hong Kong. Photo courtesy Hong Kong Tourism Board

2 May 2009 (various dates)
Hours: All day
Cost: Free
Tam Kung is an important patron deity of seafarers. His birthday festival, which coincides with Buddha's, is celebrated with considerable devotion and fanfare at the Tam Kung Temple, built in 1905 in the Shau Kei Wan district on Hong Kong Island. Shau Kei Wan is also known as Ah Kung Yam, or "Ancestor's Rocky Hill".
Tam Kung is a local Taoist boy-god said to control the weather. He can calm storms by throwing peas into the air, or cause them by throwing water. His cult is strong in coastal areas like Hong Kong and Macau. Little is known about this cryptic figure except that he was of human origin, born in Guangdong province during the Ching dynasty, and that he is the object of devotion and veneration for boatsmen and seafarers in the region, who invoke him for the protection of their livelihood.
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