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Hēidì (黑帝 "Black Deity") or Hēishén (黑神 "Black God"), who is the Běidì (北帝 "North Deity", Cantonese: Pak Tai) or Běiyuèdàdì (北岳大帝 "Great Deity of the Northern Peak") is a deity in Chinese religion, one of the cosmological "Five Forms of the Highest Deity" (五方上帝 Wǔfāng Shàngdì). He is also identified as Zhuānxū (颛顼), today frequently worshipped as Xuánwǔ (玄武 "Dark Warrior") or Zhēnwǔ (真武), and is associated with the essence of water and winter. His animal form is the Black Dragon and his stellar animal is the tortoise-snake. By virtue of his association with the north he has been identified and revered frequently as a representation of the supreme God of Heaven.
Taoist myths involving the Black Deity
A Taoist title of Heidi is the "Dark (or Mysterious) Heavenly Highest Deity" (玄天上帝 Xuántiān Shàngdì). According to a myth, during the fall of the Shang the Demon King ravaged the world, so that Yuanshi Tianzun ordered the Jade Emperor to appoint Heidi as the commander of twelve heavenly legions to fight this evil. Heidi defeated the Demon King and was subsequently granted the title of Mysterious Heavenly Highest Deity. In temples dedicated to him, the bronze tortoise and serpent under the feet of his image signify that the good always prevails over evil.
Temples in Hong Kong
In Hong Kong, it is worshipped among other places in:
- Yuk Hui Temple / Pak Tai Temple, No. 2 Lung On Street, Wan Chai (Grade I)
- Pak Tai Temple, No. 146 Ma Tau Wai Road, Hung Hom (Grade III)
- Yuk Hui Temple / Pak Tai Temple, Pak She Street, Cheung Chau (Grade I)
- Sam Tai Tsz Temple and Pak Tai Temple, Nos. 196 and 198 Yu Chau Street, Sham Shui Po (Grade II)
- Tam Kung and Tin Hau Temple, No. 9 Blue Pool Road, Wong Nai Chung (Happy Valley)
- Yuen Kwan Yi Tai Temple / Pak Tai Temple, Yuen Long Kau Hui (Grade I)
- Pak Tai Temple, Stanley Main Street, Stanley
- The day for celebration of Heidi across China is his birthday on lunar April 21.
- A festival is held on the island of Taipa in Macau. The celebration at the Pak Tai Temple includes an opera-styled performance
- Annual Bun Festival in Cheung Chau Island, Hong Kong, held in front of the Pak Tai Temple.
- Fowler, Jeanine D. (2005). An Introduction to the Philosophy and Religion of Taoism: Pathways to Immortality. Sussex Academic Press. ISBN 1845190866.
- Media related to Pak Tai Temples at Wikimedia Commons