Elements of Intangible Cultural Heritage

    Sin Fong Celebrations

    Photo by:Sin Fong Temple Association
    Photo by:Sin Fong Temple Association

    Photo by:Sin Fong Temple Association
    Photo by:Sin Fong Temple Association




    Introduction:

    General Sin Fong, also known as General Vanguard, is a deity in Taoist beliefs, who is regarded by some as Erlang Shen Yang Jian or as Yang Yanzhao, a famous general of the Song Dynasty, while others considered him as Yang Ye, the father of Yang Yanzhao. He is revered by local people as a sea deity. The beliefs in General Sin Fong are a long standing tradition in Macao and there are many temples in Macao dedicated to him, including the Sin Fong Temple in Avenida do Coronel Mesquita, which is the only temple in Macao that is dedicated exclusively to General Sin Fong having a large number of followers that visit the site, especially participating the Sin Fong Celebrations that are held every year on the 6th day of the sixth lunar month, particularly for prayers related to requests for protection against misfortune and peril, as well as blessings for safety.

     

    Conservation Status:

    Among all temples in Macao worshipping General Sin Fong, only the Sin Fong Temple holds these celebrations on an annual basis. During the Sin Fong Celebrations, the local community organize actvities including praying with incense, erecting flower plaques and performing the cerimony of awakening lion dances, while the Taoist priests recite sutras to pray for blessings. This is an occasion of great festivity, with devotees getting together in a very lively atmosphere.

     

    Heritage Value:

    The Sin Fong Celebrations are one of the typical local traditional folk activities, corresponding to the main occasion when local residents express their beliefs in General Sin Fong. The continuity of the Sin Fong Celebrations are also a sign of the perseverance and transmission of traditional Chinese folk culture in Macao. These characteristic customs and religious practices also constitute important elements for the study of local folk culture.


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