Tam Kung

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The Tam (譚) character at the entrance of the Shau Kei Wan Tam Kung Temple.

Tam Kung (譚公, literally "Lord Tam") or Tam Tai Sin (譚大仙) is a sea deity worshiped in Hong Kong and Macau.

In Chinese folk legends, Tam Kung was one of gods who could forecast the weather. He was born in Huizhou Prefecture. It was said that he could cure patients in his childhood. Tam Kung became an immortal in heaven at the age of twenty in the Nine-dragon Mountain in Huizhou. He was granted an honor in the Qing Dynasty. People whose ancestral home are in Huizhou or Chaoshan of Guangdong province worship Tam Kung most sincerely.

Temples in Hong Kong[edit]

Shau Kei Wan[edit]

Tam Kung Temple in Shau Kei Wan, Hong Kong

The oldest temple dedicated to Tam Kung in Hong Kong is located at the end of Shau Kei Wan Man Street East, in A Kung Ngam, Shau Kei Wan.[1] It was originally a small shrine. Local people raised money to construct it in 1905 and reconstructed it many times afterwards. The temple is a Grade I historic building.

The statue of Tam Kung, which was first worshipped among the other gods in the temple, was formerly positioned in the Tam Kung Temple in Tam Kung Road in Kowloon City. There is a big rock in front of the temple and is believed to be Tam Kung's magic stamp.[1] Local residents and fishermen are the sincere worshippers. On the birthday of Tam Kung (8th day of the 4th month in Chinese calendar), they will have a celebration and play a so-called "kung fu" show which is a major part of the celebration. A parade and dragon dance are also held on this occasion.

Ping Chau[edit]

Tam Kung Temple in Ping Chau

The Tam Tai Sin Temple, in Sha Tau, Tung Ping Chau was built around 1877.[2] Many early residents of Tung Ping Chau were from Shantou and they kept the tradition of worshipping Tam Kung after they settled on the island.[3] The Temple celebrates the Tam Kung Festival on the 8th day of the fourth Lunar month.[2]

Happy Valley[edit]

A Tam Kung Temple is located on a small hill at No.9 Blue Pool Road, Happy Valley, at the intersection with Ventris Road. This temple was built in 1901 after the previous one located on a slope near the Hong Kong Sanatorium and Hospital in Happy Valley, in the former Wong Nai Chung Village,[4] was demolished during urban development. According to a story, Tam Kung appeared to a young boy in a dream and guided him to the present site, which was regarded as selected by the deity for the new location of the temple.[5] A Tin Hau Temple, also relocated in 1901,[6] is situated at the back of this temple.[7] The temples have been managed by the Chinese Temples Committee since 1929.[4]

Other places[edit]

Tam Kung Temple, in Coloane, Macau

Macau[edit]

There is also a Tam Kung Temple at Rua de Cinco de Outubro in Coloane, Macau. It was built in 1862.[8]

Canada[edit]

In Victoria, BC, Canada, there is also a temple to the god Tam Kung. At 1713 Government Street is a tall, slim building established by the Yen Wo Society. Fifty-two steps up to the top floor is the oldest Chinese Temple in Canada. The statue you will find there was originally kept in a wooden box at Market Square, and it was moved to the temple by its keeper after Tam Kung appeared to him in a dream. Visitors are welcome most days, and visitors can make donations for good health and the upkeep of the shrine.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]