Thien Hau Temple

Thien Hau Temple was built in 1640 by 40 Chinese families originating from Guangdong, Guangzhou and Fujian. It is said that the work was built in China then was shifted to Vietnam.

Thien Hau Temple's Tam quan (Three-door entrance) is high and large; its wall is decorated with turquoise tile pieces. In the front yard of Tien duong (Ancestor-worshipping house), there are two young lions carved of granite. The male lion is keeping a round and smooth pearl in his mouth and the female is embracing her child. The two lions express the Chinese conception: "Having fortune and children is the greatest happiness of a person".  The temple's veranda floor is tiled by solid pebble slabs which have not been worn out through time. Its main building is built up by Bat Trang bricks that can prevent the moss from growing. The roof is tiled by tubular tile; the roof’s edge is slightly curved in fish’s tail shape. There are mandarins painted in red and green color on the ancestor - worshipping house’s doors. The rooftop’s endings in the offering house are engraved with the story of Three Kingdoms or Journey to the West. Even strange visitors also know this is the offering place for Chinese.

The temple is dedicated to Lady Lam Tuc Mac who was the Goddess of Sea. She was born on March 23rd (In lunar year) and was the sixth daughter of Lam Nguyen, a native of Fujian province. It is said that when Lam Tuc Mac was born, there were a fragrant scent and a bright halo around her. When she grew up, she could ride the cloud to pass by the sea surface. At her middle age, she found out a kind of seaweed and oil extracted from sesame-group trees to cook them as meals for hungers.

She passed away on September 9th (In lunar year) when she was still healthy. According to the holly book, when she passed away, there were fairies playing musical instruments. This is carved on her planquin in the temple.

In Thien Hau temple, there are now a lot of big calligraphic writings which praise the merit of the Goddess such as "Phong Dieu vu Thuan, Quoc Thai dan an" (Wishing regular rain and wind for happy and peaceful country) and "Hai bat duong ba" (Calm sea), and "Qua hai te thien" (Crossing the sea safely). 

Besides the main Goddess of Sea worshipping altar, the temple has two altars worshipping the Goddess' family and the families of Chinese people who were founders of the temple. Thien Hau Temple opens its annual festival on March 23rd (In lunar year) on the occasion of her birthday anniversary and on September 9th at her death anniversary. The festival is held by both Vietnamese and Chinese people in Pho Hien. The offerings are some traditional specialities of Chinese people.

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