Elements of Intangible Cultural Heritage

    Pao Kong Celebrations


    Introduction:

    Pao Kong Celebrations take place on the 15th day of the second lunar month, integrating local characteristics that are typical of Macao. Pao Kong refers to Bao Zheng, a Chinese government official of the Song Dynasty, who is worshipped as a deity because of his integrity and sense of justice. The belief and customs of Pao Kong in Macao have a long-standing history, clearly demonstrated by the number of temples dedicated to him, includingthe Pao Kong Temple in the complex of the Nam San Temple, the Pao Kong Temple, the I Leng Temple and the Loi Tsou Temple in Rua da Figueira, which is the largest.  During the reign of Emperor Guangxu of the Qing Dynasty, there was a plague in Macao, which later subsided in the presence of a statue of Pao Kong which was brought to Macao by local residents from the city of Foshan, Guangdong Province. Pao Kong was thus believed to have suppressed the evil spirits, so temples were built in his honor, in the hope that he could protect local communities.

     

    Conservation Status:

    In addition to Pao Kong Temple, there are several public altars in Macao that are also dedicated to Pao Kong, with a large number of worshippers. The Pao Kong Celebrations in the Pao Kong Temple on Rua de Figueira are a grand occasion among the local population of Macao. However, some of the celebrations have been simplified with the passage of time.

     

    Heritage Value:

    Being an important tradition linked to the belief and customs of Pao Kong, these  Celebrations are also representative of the transmission and continuity of traditional Chinese culture in Macao. These celebrations and customs integrate local elements that also have great value for the study of the local folk culture.


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