Yantai hosts cultural festival in honor of Mazu

(chinadaily.com.cn)| Updated : 2018-05-15

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The 2018 Mazu Cultural Festival kicked off  in Yantai, East China's Shandong province on May 8 to commemorate the 1,058th anniversary of Mazu.

A series of folk cultural performance including Peking Opera, drama, lion dances and drumming carried forward the spirit of Mazu culture and promoted cross-Strait cultural exchange.

Mazu, originally named Lin Mo, is believed to be a Good-Samaritan type of woman who lived in the North Song Dynasty (960-1129 AD), and died during a shipwreck rescue. She was later worshiped by local fishermen, and was eventually bestowed with the status of a sea goddess by different emperors of various Chinese dynasties throughout the second millennium.

The customs of worshiping Mazu were also taken overseas by immigrants to Southeast Asia and even North America, where temples dedicated to Mazu were built. Sailors believe that Mazu helps them navigate in the ocean and overcome difficulties. Mazu beliefs and customs were listed as a UNESCO intangible heritage in 2009.