RMW: the blog

Roslyn's photography, art, cats, exploring, writing, life

Chinatown – Year of the Snake – Part Three – Thien Hau Temple

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los-angeles-chinatown Thien Hau Temple

Continuing on our walk of Los Angeles’ Chinatown, we ecountered a Taoist temple, the Thien Hau Temple, also known as Chùa Bà Thiên Hậu in Vietnamese and as Tiān Hòu Gōng (天后宫) in Chinese. It is a popular tourist attraction as well as a place of worship.

los-angeles-chinatown Thien Hau Temple

This was, in fact, about three quarters of the way through our walk around the Chinatown area but I wanted to dedicate a blog post just to the temple.

los-angeles-chinatown Thien Hau Temple

Sadly, I don’t know very much about Taoism. This temple is dedicated to Mazu, the Taoist goddess of the sea and patron saint to sailors, fishermen, and to anybody else associated with the ocean. Also, Guan Yu, the god of wars, brotherhood, and righteousness. And Fu De, the earth god.

los-angeles-chinatown Thien Hau Temple

I am sure all the images have some significance of which I am not aware. But like any kind of art or architecture, you can enjoy looking without knowing what everything means.

los-angeles-chinatown Thien Hau Temple

The temple is affiliated with the Camau Association of America, a local benevolent, cultural and religious association primarily serving the local Chinese-Vietnamese refugees from Camau Province, Vietnam. The group also supports Chinese, Vietnamese, Teochew and Thai Chinese communities.

The temple is affiliated with the Camau Association of America, a local benevolent, cultural and religious association primarily serving the local Chinese-Vietnamese refugees from Camau Province, Vietnam. The group also supports Chinese, Vietnamese, Teochew and Thai Chinese communities.

los-angeles-chinatown Thien Hau Temple

The interior of the temple is pretty amazing. I don’t know what I expected, but certainly not this… something more like the simplicity of the local Buddhist temples I am used to.

los-angeles-chinatown Thien Hau Temple

The next few photos are interior shots. I was surprised how well my Canon Rebel operated in this low light with my shaky hand and no flash, just ambient light! Just a tiny amount of sharpening in Photoshop but no other adjustments.

los-angeles-chinatown Thien Hau Temple

los-angeles-chinatown Thien Hau Temple

Thien Hau Temple is festively decorated on the commemoration days of various deities, especially Mazu. I don’t know if the fruit and flowers were part of such a festival or if it is always decorated like this.

los-angeles-chinatown Thien Hau Temple

On the eve of Chinese New Year, members from various communities gather to receive blessings and to burn incense in worship of the deities. Lion dancers perform and firecrackers are popped in order to scare away evil spirits. Representatives from over 25 family associations headquartered in Chinatown and other communities are present to light the firecrackers at the stroke of midnight.

los-angeles-chinatown Thien Hau Temple

los-angeles-chinatown Thien Hau Temple

los-angeles-chinatown Thien Hau Temple

Many people come to the temple during the first week after New Year to receive a blessing for the year. On the concluding day of the New Year celebrations, people come to the temple to pray and beckon Mazu for blessings and protection for the rest of the year.

Many people come to the temple especially during the first week after New Year to receive a blessing for the year. On the concluding day of the New Year celebrations, people come to the temple to pray and beckon Mazu for blessings and protection for the rest of the year.

los-angeles-chinatown Thien Hau Temple

Thien Hau Temple

Thien Hau Temple

Even though my camera did pretty well, because of the low light, my unsteady hand and my lack of understanding of my equipment, some of the photos are not as sharp as they should be. My apologies. Even the sharpen tools in Photoshop can only do so much!

los-angeles-chinatown Thien Hau Templelos-angeles-chinatown Thien Hau Templelos-angeles-chinatown Thien Hau TempleBack on the street.

los-angeles-chinatown Thien Hau Temple

The original building was an Italian Christian church located within what was formerly Little Italy. The building was purchased in the 1980s. Under a strong faith-based community in and outside of Chinatown, the temple was able to raise enough money to build a larger temple hall. Construction of the new temple was completed and dedicated on September 2005.

los-angeles-chinatown Thien Hau TempleI couldn’t find a website for the temple so most of my information came from a Wikipedia article.

Please click on all the photos for a larger view.

All photos and content copyright roslyn m wilkins. Please feel free to pass along this post via email or social media, but if you wish to use some of our images or text outside of the context of this blog, either give full credit to myself and One Good Life in Los Angeles, or contact us for proper usage. Thanks!

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Author: RMW

I am an explorer and creative person. I've had many jobs, careers and interests... everything in life and the universe fascinates me. Born in Brighton, England, I've lived my entire adult life in Los Angeles, California. A few years ago I rediscovered photography which is a great excuse to get outside and look. I'm also in the process of re-writing some of my unpublished short stories and possibly a novel. .

6 thoughts on “Chinatown – Year of the Snake – Part Three – Thien Hau Temple

  1. The interior of the temple is pretty dramatic! I enjoyed the tour. Enjoy the weekend, Roslyn!

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  2. Great photos and tour, Roslyn. It reminds me of a trip to Asia I took a few years ago, thanks.

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  3. This may be as close as I ever get to Asia, but you never know!

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  4. wow, really enjoyed that!

    Like

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