Thien Hau Temple – The oldest Chinese assembly hall in Saigon

Not only a temple with a long history, but Thien Hau Temple is also a tourist destination for many domestic and foreign visitors.

The Thien Hau Temple, officially the Ba Thien Hau Pagoda is one of the oldest Chinese temples in Saigon; Currently located on Nguyen Trai, District 5, Ho Chi Minh City.

According to the epitaph documents at the temple, around 1760, many Guangzhou (Chinese) merchants traveled by ship to Vietnam to do business. And on the ships all worship the Holy Mother to pray for help.

At that time, ships going to sea had to look in the wind direction, merchants often had to stay in Vietnam for several months each year; so many people contributed money to build temples to worship Lady Thien Hau, and build Assembly Hall to make a place to stop.

Thien Hau Temple

After many times of restoration, the temple still retains its features with the ancient and unique architectural style of the Chinese.

The temple architecture is built in the shape of a seal; is a combination of linked houses forming a ground like the word “密碼” or the word “國家”.

Lady Thien Hau statue is worshiped in the main hall. The statue was carved from a one-meter-high plateau of wood, dating from before the construction of the pagoda; which was worshiped in Bien Hoa until 1836 that it was moved to this Assembly Hall.

Thien Hau Temple

Lady Thien Hau is considered the patron goddess of fishermen and seafarers; and is revered especially in Buddhism and Taoism in East Asian countries.

On the occasion of Tet, Thien Hau Temple also attracts hundreds of lion dance groups from Ho Chi Minh City, Binh Duong … to “pray for luck”. This ceremony is called “clearing the eyes” with the meaning of wishing a happy, prosperous, and productive new year.

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