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Village ladies, dressed in lucky red clothing, put last minute touches on the elaborate food offerings placed before the altar of the Mazu, where the temple’s icon is placed. Food offerings are given in thanks for the goddess’s protection.

Mazu was once a living woman, a local shamaness who, through her exceptional deeds, was able to ascend to the pantheon of gods. Over the past millennia veneration of Mazu evolved from this one small island to now having an estimated 4000 temples in China alone and thousands more worldwide. Far from being described as a shamaness her title is Tianhou, or “Heavenly Empress” conferred to her in 1683.
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Ariana Lindquist
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CHINA: FOLK RELIGION
Village ladies, dressed in lucky red clothing, put last minute touches on the elaborate food offerings placed before the altar of the Mazu, where the temple’s icon is placed.  Food offerings are given in thanks for the goddess’s protection.<br />
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Mazu was once a living woman, a local shamaness who, through her exceptional deeds, was able to ascend to the pantheon of gods. Over the past millennia veneration of Mazu evolved from this one small island to now having an estimated 4000 temples in China alone and thousands more worldwide. Far from being described as a shamaness her title is Tianhou, or “Heavenly Empress” conferred to her in 1683.