Elements of Intangible Cultural Heritage

    Hong Chan Kuan Celebrations






    Introduction:

    Hong Chan Kuan, also known as Hong Gong, is a deity in Taoist beliefs. The belief in Hong Chan Kuan is a long-standing tradition in Macao. It’s believed that this deity has powers to extinguish fires and he is mostly worshipped by local residents and fishermen alike. The Hong Chan Kuan Celebrations are held every year on the 7th day of the seventh lunar month. The temples in Macao that are dedicated to Hong Chan Kuan host festive ceremonies, including tribute to the deity, offerings in his honor and the burning of incense in gratitude for his protection. The Hong Chan Kuan Celebrations are an important festive event  of the local Chinese community.

     

    Conservation Status:

    There are several temples in Macao that are mainly dedicated to Hong Chan Kuan, including the Hong Chan Kuan Temple and the Hong Chan Kuan Temple (Mong Há), noting that Hong Chan Kuan Temple receives a larger number of worshippers. With the passage of time, Hong Chan Kuan Celebrations have been simplified in recent years, but they still include activities such as the ritual of ribbon cutting, incense burning, lion dances, the so-called “Choy Cheng” (plucking the greens) performances and the Poon Choi banquet (a traditional feast in which the dish is served in a big wooden basin at each table).

     

    Heritage Value:

    Hong Chan Kuan Celebrations are one of the most relevant traditional folk festivals, having significant social value among the popular traditions of Macao.  The continuity of the beliefs and practices of Hong Chan Kuan also reflect the perseverance and the transmission of traditional Chinese folk culture in Macao. These customs have local characteristic that are also of significant value for the study of local folk culture.


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