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Tam Kong Festival

Introduction

Tam Kung Festival, one of the folk festivals in Macao, is on the eighth day of the fourth lunar month. According to the temple attendant in the Tam Kung Temple of Coloane built in 1862, Lord Tam is considered a child deity due to his apparition of a child. He is commonly known as “Tam Kung” or “Lord Tam.” Lord Tam came from the Nine-dragon Mountain in Huizhou, Guangdong. The Tam Kung Feast has become the most popular annual religious festival in Coloane. The activities of the Feast include a grand parade, large-scale thanksgiving banquet for a thousand of people and Cantonese opera performance for consecutive days that create the festive atmosphere in the festival. These traditional rituals have long been handed down for decades and some other new programs are added in order to attract more residents in Macao to participate in the Feast, making this event become a carnival in the region.


Origin

Coloane was originally a fishing village. In its heyday, there had been 3,000 residents in such a small village. Since more than half of the residents were engaged in fishing or other related business, the villagers paid great attention to the birthdays of the two gods of sea – Tam Kung and Tin Hau. It appeared that the Tam Kung Temple and the Tam Kung Festival were much more popular than the Tin Hau Temple and A-Ma Festival in the past. This could be explained possibly by the fact that the location of Tam Kung Temple was more convenient to worshipers. After the decline of the fishing industry in Coloane, most villagers worked outside Coloane and, currently, there are only 600 residents there. However, during the Chinese New Year or Ching Ming Festival, those residents who work outside come back to Coloane every year in order to celebrate the Tam Kung Festival.

 

Tam Kong Festival

Tam Kung Festival, one of the folk festivals in Macao, is on the eighth day of the fourth lunar month. According to the temple attendant in the Tam Kung Temple of Coloane built in 1862, Lord Tam is considered a child deity due to his apparition of a child. He is commonly known as “Tam Kung” or “Lord Tam.” Lord Tam came from the Nine-dragon Mountain in Huizhou, Guangdong. The Tam Kung Feast has become the most popular annual religious festival in Coloane. The activities of the Feast include a grand parade, large-scale thanksgiving banquet for a thousand of people and Cantonese opera performance for consecutive days that create the festive atmosphere in the festival. These traditional rituals have long been handed down for decades and some other new programs are added in order to attract more residents in Macao to participate in the Feast, making this event become a carnival in the region.