Saturday, March 21, 2009

Macau - The Statue of Mazu (A-Ma) (GB-63866)

This card was sent from the UK, but actually it comes from Macau and therefore it's my first card from this territory :) This increasement of the number of countries/territories that I have postcards from was totally unexpected, so I was really excited to find this card in my mailbox :)
It shows the statue of Mazu (also called A-Ma) goddess, 19,99 meters high, in Macau. According to the sender, A-Ma is a goddess of particular importance in Macau. People believe that she saves the sailors.


(simplified Chinese: 妈祖; traditional Chinese: 媽祖; pinyin: Māzǔ; Wade-Giles: Ma-tsu; Pe̍h-ōe-jī: Má-chó·; literally "Mother-Ancestor"), also spelt Matsu, is the indigenous goddess of the sea who protects fishermen and sailors, and is invoked as the goddess who protects East Asians who are associated with the ocean. Her mortal name is Lin Moniang (Chinese: 林默娘; pinyin: Lín Mòniáng; Pe̍h-ōe-jī: Lîm Be̍k-niû).

According to legend, Lin Moniang was born in 960 AD (during the early Northern Song Dynasty) as the seventh daughter of Lin Yuan (林愿) on Meizhou Island, Fujian. She did not cry when she was born, and thus her given name means "Silent Girl."
There are many legends about her and the sea.

After her death, the families of many fishermen and sailors began to pray to her in honor of her acts of courage in trying to save those at sea. Her worship spread quickly. Much of her popularity in comparison to other sea deities resulted from her role as a compassionate motherly protector, in contrast to authoritarian father figures like the Dragon Kings.

1 comment:

Lisan said...

Nice to receive a card from Macau!