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Feast of the God Tou Tei

Introduction

Feast of Tou Tei is on the second day of the second lunar month. Tou Tei, also called “Tu Di Gong” in Chinese, literally means the “God of Earth.” In the ancient myths, Tou Tei is a god who governs a land. The worship of Tou Tei is a common belief in Macao. Apart from the Tou Tei statues placed at shops and homes, there are also many Tou Tei temples (also called “Fok Tak Chi” in which “Fok Tak” literally means “wealth and merit” in Chinese) are built. Among those temples, the Tou Tei Temple in Patane, Fok Tak Chi in Horta da Mitra, and the Small Temple of Tou Tei in Praia are the most famous. On the Feast of Tou Tei, believers worship Tou Tei at home and even follow the dancing lion heading to the Tou Tei Temple for worship in order to pray for a fertile land and big harvest. After worship, some associations will distribute pork products, Chinese pantries and daily products to worshipers. Before 1980’s, the Tou Tei Temple in Patane had an endless stream of pilgrims offering incenses, many sparklers were burned and a bamboo-shed theater were also built there during the Feast of Tou Tei. However, after the end of 1980’s, Horta da Mitra has become the most bustling district for celebrating Tou Tei in Macao: a whole roasted pig, Cantonese opera night gala and troupe drama are parts of thanksgiving gifts to Tou Tei. The Small Temple of Tou Tei in that district has many worshippers offering incenses. Nowadays, the residents in Horta da Mitra have the grandest event for the Feast of Tou Tei with a whole roasted pig, troupe drama and Cantonese opera performance for celebration.


Origin

According to Gazetteer of Xiangshan District, at the beginning of the second lunar month, people worship Tou Tei and burn sparklers. Some historical sources state that Tou Tei was also called the God of Earth, God of Earth Protector, Earth God, God of the Land, etc. The Feast of Tou Tei was usually called “Spring Sacrifice”, a day that the ancient people worshiped the God of Earth (Tou Tei) and prayed for good harvest. Some superstitious legends mention that Tou Tei is the God of a small land. There is also a description of Tou Tei in Bai Hu Tong Yi: everything comes from the land, and that is why land is regarded as a deity. In China, land has long been important to peasantry whose primitive farming method relied on weather rather than science. Therefore, it was believed that land was a container of all, making the worship of Tou Tei the primitive worship tradition. In the past, villagers vigorously held a big feast for Tou Tei on the second day of the second lunar month annually, praying for fertile land and big harvest.

Feast of the God Tou Tei

Feast of Tou Tei is on the second day of the second lunar month. Tou Tei, also called “Tu Di Gong” in Chinese, literally means the “God of Earth.” In the ancient myths, Tou Tei is a god who governs a land. The worship of Tou Tei is a common belief in Macao. Apart from the Tou Tei statues placed at shops and homes, there are also many Tou Tei temples (also called “Fok Tak Chi” in which “Fok Tak” literally means “wealth and merit” in Chinese) are built. Among those temples, the Tou Tei Temple in Patane, Fok Tak Chi in Horta da Mitra, and the Small Temple of Tou Tei in Praia are the most famous. On the Feast of Tou Tei, believers worship Tou Tei at home and even follow the dancing lion heading to the Tou Tei Temple for worship in order to pray for a fertile land and big harvest. After worship, some associations will distribute pork products, Chinese pantries and daily products to worshipers. Before 1980’s, the Tou Tei Temple in Patane had an endless stream of pilgrims offering incenses, many sparklers were burned and a bamboo-shed theater were also built there during the Feast of Tou Tei. However, after the end of 1980’s, Horta da Mitra has become the most bustling district for celebrating Tou Tei in Macao: a whole roasted pig, Cantonese opera night gala and troupe drama are parts of thanksgiving gifts to Tou Tei. The Small Temple of Tou Tei in that district has many worshippers offering incenses. Nowadays, the residents in Horta da Mitra have the grandest event for the Feast of Tou Tei with a whole roasted pig, troupe drama and Cantonese opera performance for celebration.