On the 23rd day of the 3rd month in the Lunar Calendar, Hong Kong celebrates the birthday of Tin Hau, the goddess of the sea – one of the region's most revered deities. Boats are decorated with showy banners giving thanks to the goddess for her protection.
Fervent prayers are made that the guardian of seafarers might continue to bestow her blessings of good weather, safe sailing, and full fishing nets. It is a great time to indulge in Hong Kong's abundance of fresh seafood.
During this historical festival, local people, especially fishermen, visit the numerous community temples devoted to the goddess bearing giant-sized offerings of paper flowers known as fa pau.
A colourful celebration featuring traditional rituals is held in Sai Kung, while in Yuen Long, in the New Territories, the kaleidoscopic parade of floats, lion dances, Chinese opera performances, boy scout troupes, cheerleaders and martial arts students attracts hordes of spectators.