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Thien Hau pagoda

Ba Thien Hau Pagoda is located at 710 Nguyen Trai Street, District 5, Ho Chi Minh City. This is one of the oldest pagodas of Chinese community in Ho Chi Minh City  Built by the Cantonese Congregation in the early 19th century, this pagoda is dedicated to Thien Hau and is one of the most active in Cholon. It is said that Thien Hau (also known as Tuc Goi La Ba) can travel over the oceans on a mat and ride the clouds to wherever she pleases. Her mobility allows her to save people in trouble on the high seas. 

 Ba Thien Hau (i.e Ms Goddess) had the true name of Mi Chau. She was born in 1044 and lived in Phuoc Kien Province (China). As the legend said, one day, her father, Lam Khanh Tich, together with her two brothers was on the boat carrying salt to Giang Tay and met a heavy storm on the sea. At that time, she was sewing cloth with her mother at home but her soul left her body to go to the sea to save her father and brothers. She used her teeth to bite her father's sleeve and hold her brothers' hands in her hands. Meanwhile, her mother called her and forced her to answer. When she opened her mouth to reply, her soul's lip was not hermetic and her father was flown by the wind. She finally could only save the two brothers. Since then, when going on the sea, people in stuck or meeting accidents always beseech and call her. In 1110, under Tong Dynasty, she was conferred "Thien Hau Thanh Mau" (Blessed Virgin Goddess).
All the materials constructing the pagoda were brought from China. The roof was stuck with the pottery describing the old customs of China such as "fighting in an arena", "kowtow before ancestor's altar", etc. that were manufactured by two famous pottery kilns Buu Nguyen and Dong Hoa in 1908. In the special chamber, there are two copper objects from King Can Long's 60th year (1796) and Dai Quang Dynasty's 10th year (1830). The middle sanctum has a set of urn of Quang Tu Dynasty's 12th year (1886). In the large mirror sideboard at the major chamber is the statue of Eight Fairies and D'Arìes's order in 1860 preventing French warriors from destroying. The festival of worshipping Thien Hau on the 23rd day of the 3rd month of Lunar year is one of the most popular annual festivities of Chinese people in Vietnam. This festival often comes with singing and dancing activities that reflect the beauty in the culture of Chinese. 

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