• Short Summary

    THE FISHING COMMUNITY IN HONG KONG - NUMBERING SOME 150,000 PEOPLE - CELEBRATED THEIR "BIGGEST DAY OF THE YEAR" ON SATURDAY WHEN THEY SET OUT ON THEIR ANNUAL PILGRIMAGE OF JUNKS TO THE TIN HAU TEMPLE AT JOSS HOUSE BAY TO PRAY FOR A PEACEFUL AND PROSPEROUS YEAR.

  • Description

    THE FISHING COMMUNITY IN HONG KONG - NUMBERING SOME 150,000 PEOPLE - CELEBRATED THEIR "BIGGEST DAY OF THE YEAR" ON SATURDAY WHEN THEY SET OUT ON THEIR ANNUAL PILGRIMAGE OF JUNKS TO THE TIN HAU TEMPLE AT JOSS HOUSE BAY TO PRAY FOR A PEACEFUL AND PROSPEROUS YEAR. THE TEMPLE - THE LARGEST IN HONG KONG - IS DEDICATED TO THEIR PATRON GODDESS OF THE SEA, TIN HAU.

    THIS YEAR'S FESTIVITIES DIFFERED FROM THOSE OF PREVIOUS YEARS ONLY IN THAT FIREWORKS WERE NOT ALLOWED. FIREWORKS ARE STILL BANNED IN HONG KONG, FOLLOWING THE DISTURBANCES THERE, IN AN EFFORT TO DEPRIVE POSSIBLE LEFTIST DEMONSTRATORS OF GUNPOWDER TO MAKE BOMBS. HOWEVER, THE FESTIVITIES SUFFERED LITTLE FROM THESE DEPRIVATIONS.

    LOOKING LIKE AN ANCIENT ORIENTAL WAR FILLET GOING INTO BATTLE, THE JUNKS RODE PROUDLY DOWN THE HARBOUR DECORATED WITH FLAGS AND PENANTS AND WITH CHINESE MUSIC BLARING FROM LOUDSPEAKERS LASHED TO THEIR MASTHEADs. THE FIRST JUNKS TO ARRIVE AT JOSS HOUSE BAY, NEAR THE EASTERN ENTRANCE TO HONG KONG HARBOUR, GOT THE BEST POSITIONS BUT EVEN THEY WERE FORCED TO ANCHOR OFF-SHORE BECAUSE OF THE ROCKS.

    SOON THOUSANDS OF PEOPLE WERE MILLING ABOUT ON THE SINGLE BEACH AND CLIMBING THE STEEP RAMPANTS OF TIN HAU'S TEMPLE. THE DEVOTEES BROUGHT OFFERINGS OF FOOD FOR THE GODDESS, AS WELL AS OFFERINGS OF PAPER CLOTHING AND PAPER MONEY. WOMEN SET FIRE TO THE PAPER CLOTHING AND RAN WITH IT, HOLDING IT ALOFT IN THE OPEN AIR SO THAT THE PAPER GARMENTS COULD ASCENT TO TIN HAU IN THE FORM OF SMOKE.

    WHOLE FAMILIES JOSTLED TO GET THROUGH THE TEMPLE'S NARROW DOORWAY, PAYING A SMALL ADMISSION FEE. INSIDE, THE AIR WAS FOGGED WITH SWEET-SMELLING JOSS SMOKE. PEOPLE ALMOST FOUGHT TO LIGHT LUCKY JOSS STICKS FROM THE TEMPLE'S FLARING RED CANDLES. THEN THEY KNELT AT THE FEET OF THE EFFIGY OF TIN HAU, THANKING HER FOR PAST FAVOURS AND ASKING FOR SAFETY AND PROSPERITY IN THE YEAR AHEAD.

    OUTSIDE, THE "DRAGON DANCERS" WEARING THEIR GAUDY "LION SKINS" OF SILK AND PAPER PRANGED IN THE SUNLIGHT, FORMED THEMSELVES INTO TEAMS WITH HIGH-SOUNDING NAMES LIKE "EMULATION OF VIRTUE" AND STAGE FIERGE DANCING COMPETITIONS.

  • Tags

  • Data

    Film ID:
    VLVA9WFNA1MPOFYJ4PK292IGNXFDI
    Media URN:
    VLVA9WFNA1MPOFYJ4PK292IGNXFDI
    Group:
    Reuters - Source to be Verified
    Archive:
    Reuters
    Issue Date:
    22/04/1968
    Sound:
    Unknown
    HD Format:
    Available on request
    Stock:
    Colour
    Duration:
    00:01:45:00
    Time in/Out:
    /
    Canister:
    N/A

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