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Fujian province holds Mazu Culture Forum


11-04-2016 02:22 BJT

More than 1,000 people from more than a dozen countries have gathered in Putian City, in Southeast China’s Fujian province, for this year’s Global Mazu Culture Forum. 

Mazu is the Chinese goddess of the sea, and people living in the coastal regions of China started worshipping her back in the Song Dynasty. The Mazu belief system has even been listed as a UNESCO intangible cultural heritage, and Putian, where the forum is being held, is hailed as the center of ancient Mazu traditions.  

Mazu traditions are an important part of Chinese maritime culture. According to an old Chinese proverb, “Where there are Chinese, there is Mazu belief.”

This year’s Global Mazu Culture Forum attracted more than 1,300 participants from 19 countries and regions, including Canada, Malaysia, Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan. 

“Through Mazu culture, people across the Taiwan Strait can find cultural identity and a national pride with the Chinese people. Our maritime civilization has spread to the rest of the world through the spread of Mazu culture. With regards to the Maritime Silk Road, Mazu culture can help serve as a messenger of peace, friendship and love,” said cultural expert Wang Zhenzhong.

This year’s event included the International Mazu Cultural Symposium, the Mazu Cultural Tourism Festival, and other activities. The annual Mazu Autumn Worshipping Ceremony was also held at the same time. 

Tens of thousands of people from home and abroad came to the ceremony to honor their ancestors. Every year, people from Taiwan come to Meizhou Island to worship Mazu.

“People across the strait have the same roots and the same origin. So we must come to Meizhou Island to worship our ancestors. We must come back every year. It’s like coming home," said Cai Fuxiong, an attendee from Taiwan.

According to tradition, Mazu is a powerful goddess of the sea, who helps sailors navigate the ocean. The Mazu belief system has been listed as a UNESCO intangible cultural heritage.

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