Ma Ge Temple Macau

The Ma Ge Temple in Macau

My fascination on Chinese temples dedicated to the Goddess Lin Mo started when I first visited her in Saigon, to the very halls of Thien Hau Temple and the quest for the next temple started seemingly like the IPhone and IPad game, Temple Run, I search for places that has temples dedicated to the Goddess of the Sea and others call her Matzu. While in Hong Kong, I have prayed at Tin Hau Temple and made me realized I have to check if there is one in nearby Macau. My research was not in vain when I encountered materials on the web pertaining to Ma Ge Temple or famously called A-ma Temple.

Entrance to the Ma Ge Temple           

The grand Ma Ge Temple is religiously serene and reflecting

Ma Ge Temple is the oldest of all of Macau and its rich origins even spark the naming of the territory to Macau by Portuguese seafarers and settlers. It was said that some 400 years ago, when at the height of her maritime power, Portugal’s sons came to shores of Macau. While they disembark from their ships, they saw a temple which sits from the mountaintop and they asked the local the name of the territory to which it sits. Accordingly, the locals no conversant with Portuguese thought they were asked the name of the temple, so they replied “Ma Ge”, the name of the temple and later on, many years since then, until today, the territory is called Macau (Macao) in adherence from the temple name Ma Ge.

The Ma Ge Temple in Macau

The statue of the Goddess Lin Mo in A-ma Temple (otherwise named Ma Ge Temple) in Macau

The interiors of the Ma Ge Temple

The temple was constructed during the Ming Dynasty in the year of 1488, way ahead of the discovery of Macau by the Portuguese. The temple has six chambers and I saw them entirely made of stones, bricks, and the carvings as well as calligraphy are impressively preserved until today. The Ma Ge Temple sits comfortably in the southeast part of the Macau peninsula. Over the years, many faithful, fisherfolks and fishmongers pray for safety, good fortune and peace.

The famous activity in Ma Ge Temple. One has to wash hands in this metal bowl then the palm will be wiped on both handles to obtain blessings and good luck

The handwashing for blessings in Ma Ge Temple in Macau

What I love of the Ma Ge temple is its coiled incense, very much the same as those I found in Vietnam and Hong Kong. Akin to spirituality, locals flock to this temple to seek solace from the bustling city-living and the demands for a fast-paced life. What impressed me much about the temple is its place of revered silence and moments of reflections as well as vista of Macau.

A local prays at the Ma Ge Temple in Macau

The Goddess Matzu is the Chinese Goddess of Seafarers

Lions guard the doors of the Ma Ge Temple

Disturbing to my keen eye was a scene where I saw an old lady asking for alms on locals and tourists going to A-ma temple. What I saw were scenes of contrast of the faithful, one of an old lady seeking grace by asking alms while of another who ignores the pleadings of the poor. It speaks of humanity’s failure to see through deeper meaning of religiosity, piety and compassion even when near the graces of the Goddess.

Interpret this photo?

The contrast I see at Ma Ge Temple


Categories: Macau | Tags: , , , , | 9 Comments

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9 thoughts on “Ma Ge Temple Macau

  1. Looks great, Wends! I’d love to visit Macau one day

  2. Been to Macau twice but wasn’t able to visit at least one temple like the famous A-ma. Grr!! Such a nice place, well there’s always next time 😀

    • yes, next time will be best and for me, I have not been able to explore much of Macau though.

      I will see myself walking back in the cobbled pathways of Macao. Salamat Ada sa comment 🙂


  3. Matthew Karsten

    That old metal bowl looks like it’s seen a lot of action. Very cool looking.

    • yes it does as almost all those who visited the temple wash their hands and wipe their palms in both handles haha. I never tried it though.

      Thanks Matt 🙂

  4. Never neen to macau! This will be on top of my list when I visit that country

  5. Pingback: Southeast Asia, in the search for Matzu « Journeys and Travels

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