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Photographer's Note

Visited the Thean Hou Temple in Kuala Lumpur recently during the Lunar New Year festival. It was built by the local Hainanese community to worship Goddess Tian Hou (The Heavenly Mother).

In the olden days, the Hainanese (who originated from Hainan Island in China) were traditionally fishermen. They worshipped Tian Hou (also known as Goddess Ma Zu) for protection while they were at sea. Today, the practice of worshipping the Goddess continues among the Hainanese community in Asia.

The Thean Hou Temple, which opened in 1989, gets devotees from a cross section of the local Chinese community (of various clans and dialects). It is also a popular tourist destination.

The temple’s grandiose architecture features Buddhism, Taoism and Confucianism elements. There are imposing pillars, spectacular roofs, ornate carvings and intricate embellishments.

A striking decorative feature are the hundreds of red lanterns that line the entrance stringing from the multi-arched gateway across the open courtyard leading to the prayer hall that houses the altars of Tian Hou (Goddess of the Sea), flanked by Avalokiteśvara Guan Yin (the Goddess of Mercy) and Shui Wei Sheng Niang (Goddess of the Waterfront).

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Additional Photos by Steven Yong (Across_Asia) Silver Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 13 W: 0 N: 75] (344)
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