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A jubilant and prayerful atmosphere was augmented by traditional lion dances, guzheng (Chinese zither) music, and Tai Chi (Taijiquan) at the May 21 Kam Fa (Lady Golden Flower) Festival in Tangjia Village.
Roasted pigs, flowers, refreshments, and more sacrificial items were offered on a table in front of the goddess statue. Led by a venerable villager, women approached to pay respect to the goddess and pray for blessings in giving birth and for the safety of children. Others asked for prosperity, peace, happiness, and sweet marriage.
A ritual ceremony celebrating the birthday of the Kam Fa empress, the festival falls on the 17th day of the fourth lunar month. It is said to have originated in the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) and prevailed during the late Qing (1644-1911) and the Republic of China (1912-1949) period.
It had long been observed in Tangjiawan as a municipal intangible cultural heritage and was recognized as such in 2012, two years after its resumption, thanks to the effort of native Tang Guanting, who later became its certified inheritor.
This year's celebration was sponsored by the Social Undertaking Bureau of the Zhuhai National Hi-Tech Industrial Development Zone and organized by the zone's Cultural Center with cooperation of the Tangjia History & Culture Research Society.
Kam Fa Temple was built in 1779 in the Qing Dynasty and rebuilt in 1863. It stands in a line with Templa and Man Mo temples, together making up Tangjia Sanmiao（唐家三庙）or Tangjia Three Temples, the largest and oldest temple buildings in Zhuhai.
With profound historical and cultural connotations and high architectural value, the temples were listed for Guangdong Province's key cultural relic protection in 2010. A combined fund of 8 million yuan ($1.2 million) was allocated by the province, city, and district in 2016 to restore Tangjia Sanmiao to its original splendor. During the renovations, Kam Fa Temple received a heritage base that uses texts and photos to tell its story and promote its unique folklore.
Lion dancers at temple
Tangjia Three Temples [Photo courtesy WeChat ID: zhgxwh]