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  • Teissa Oxford

Senado Square & The A-Ma Temple

Macau, Hong Kong

While in Macau, visit A-Ma Temple, Penha Hill, the ruins of St. Paul’s Church and the Macau Museum.

Approximately four hundred years ago the Portuguese landed on a sea promontory near a temple. They asked the local inhabitants the name of the land, but the locals misunderstood, thinking that the Portuguese were asking for the name of the temple. So they answered 'Ma Ge', which was the name of the temple. Later, the Portuguese translated the named into 'Macau' and used it to refer to the land. In actuality, this temple is one of the three famous Buddha halls in Macau- the A-Ma Temple.

The A-Ma Temple, located in the southeast of the Macau Peninsula, is the oldest temple in Macau. It was constructed in the year of 1488 of the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) to commemorate Mazu, the sacred sea goddess who blesses the fishermen of Macau. It is said that the goddess was called LinMo, and that she was born in Putian City, Fujian Province, and was more intelligent than other children her age. She could predict good or ill luck and after her death she often helped merchants and fishermen ward off calamities and turn danger into safety. Now there are a number of folktales about the great goddess narrated in the littoral lands.

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