Manifestation Anniversary of Heavenly Empress Ma Zu 2017
Ma Zu aka The Immortal Maiden or Heavenly Empress of the Sea, in Taoism, we addressed her as Tian Shang Sheng Mu Ma Zu (天上聖母媽祖).
According to Taoist Scripture, the Only & Official Taoist Scripture dedicating to Ma Zu, known as Tai Shang Lao Jun Shuo Tian Fei Jiu Ku Ling Yan Jing (太上老君說天妃救苦靈驗經), Ma Zu was actually the Manifestation of the Energy from the Great North Dipper Star Group into a Lady Immortal (known as Miao Xing Yu Nv 妙行玉女) which had overcome multiple testing & obstacles before gaining her Immortal-hood.
After which, Miao Xing Yu Nv was called upon by the Supreme Lord (道德天尊) to the gathering for the appointment of the task to descend into the Mortal Realm to perform the necessary Salvation for the Suffering Beings.
Upon getting the appointment, Miao Xing Yu Nv made her Sincerest & Greatest Vow of ceasing of ALL Sufferings before she returned back to the Celestial Realm again and so, upon getting the Vow, Miao Xing Yu Nv was being sent off to get her Re-incarnation aka Manifestated into Mortal at Song Dynasty Jia Shen Year 23rd Day of Lunar 3 Month (AD 960宋朝建隆元年农历三月廿三日辰時) in the Lin Family (降生莆田湄洲岛林家之中) – given Maiden Name as Lin Mo or Lin Mo Niang (林默/林默娘).
Since young, Mo Niang had been going around to assist the Needy, regardless of strangers or people she knew.
By the age of 8, one day while Mo Niang was out in the Sea-side to waiting for her father to return from the Sailing, a Elegant Lady approached her and passed her a few Books on Unknown Writings & Diagrams. Upon getting hold of the Books, Mo Niang was puzzled but after getting some advises from the Lady, Mo Niang accepted and promised the Lady to study all the information in the Books and understand the Diagrams.
By the age of 16, Mo Niang was able to use the Skills that mentioned in the Unknown Books to assist more Needy in her Hometown.
At the age of 28, on the 8th Night of Lunar 9 Month, Mo Niang got a dream from the Elegant Lady again, this time round Mo Niang finally knew who she was – Zi Guang Fu Ren (紫光夫人). After getting the advises from Zi Guang Fu Ren, Mo Niang decided to leave home on the 9th Day of Lunar 9 Month to gain her Immortal-hood at the Highest Peak in her hometown.
On Song Dynasty AD 987, 9th Day of Lunar 9 Month (宋雍熙四年九月初九日得道), Mo Niang got her Immortal-hood and was summoned back to the Celestial Realm to receive her Official Title before she was being sent back to the Mortal Realm to assist the Needy again.
In Southern Taoism Culture, Ma Zu was a highly respect Lady Immortal by the Taoists & also Chinese. Every year, during her Manifestation Anniversary, ALL Temples that dedicated to Ma Zu in Southern China will conduct Supreme Rituals/Ceremonies to honour Ma Zu as a form of Gratitude for her hardship in Salvaging the Sufferings & Blessings.
Till today, in Hokkien Pu Tian Mei Zhou County (中國福建省莆田湄州), on the 23rd Day of Lunar 3 Month, tons & tons of Devotees will flocked to the Main Ancestral Temple of Ma Zu to pay their respect to her in-order to request for Blessing through-out the Year.
In Year 2017, Ma Zu Anniversary falls on 19 April, a Wednesday.
So in Singapore, what can Oneself do to honour Ma Zu?
For Taoists, we can just prepare the Taoist 5 Offerings/10 Offerings (道教五供/十供) to honour Ma Zu as these Offerings can consider as the Highest Respect in Taoist Culture.
Five Offerings Intro:
Besides that, Oneself can add in some Traditional Cake/Cookies (傳統糕點) stuffs such as Longevity Peach Buns (壽桃包), Longevity Noodles (壽麵), Huat Kueh (發糕), Ang Ku Kueh (紅龜粿) & Ang Ee (紅圓包).
As for the Paper Offerings, actually for us Taoists, we can save up the Paper Offerings, as long as Oneself is able to prepare 3 sticks of Good Long Incenses and a pair of 24hours Red Candles for Ma Zu, Oneself and the whole Family will be Blessed.
Due to Ma Zu had made her Greatest Vow to Salvage the Mortals, the Honouring shall be Simple and filled with Sincerity, rather than Grand but Commercializing.
And One that WE ALL must remember to do while preparing any form of Offerings for Ma Zu. Remember to prepare the following Label (print out on Pink or Red Paper) and stick onto any form of Offerings that dedicated to Ma Zu. This is an Old Traditional method of Honouring Ma Zu while Oneself is making certain Request or Blessing. By doing so, Oneself’s Name & Address will be recorded by the 2 Generals of Ma Zu and whenever Oneself needed the assistance of them, just by Calling Ma Zu’s Name of Title, she will be there to provide the assistance.
Ma Zu Official Title Label (do remember to write your name & address at the blank space at the bottom of the Label):
Please proceed to this link for the Title Label:
Last of All, may Tian Shang Sheng Mu Ma Zu bestowed her Blessing to ALL and hope that the World will have lesser Disaster in the next 1 year.
More Links dedicating to Ma Zu 相關資訊:
Intro on Black Face Ma Zu (黑面三媽簡介):