Hot Search

Loading ...

The Transforming Jiao

2019-01-31
The Transforming Jiao

Among the commonly-seen religious rituals held by villages in Hong Kong, Tai Ping Qing Jiao is of the largest scale. However, there is an even more high-profile Taoist jiao festival, the Taishang Golden Register Ritual and Great Ritual Offerings to the All-Embracing Heaven (also known as Lo Tin Tai Chiu), which invites 1200 deities to come down to earth from the heaven.

Lo Tin Tai Chiu seeks to pray for the well-being of the whole world. The emperors officiated in the sacrificial rites in ancient times. The manpower and material resources used were definitely not affordable for the commoners. Therefore, there has never been a time schedule for the jiao festival to be held. Yet, in only a decade, the festival has already been organised twice in Hong Kong in 2007 and 2017 respectively.

Nga Tsin Wai Village in Kowloon City is the only walled village left in the urban core, which has a history of more than 700 years. Yet, the lands in the village have all been acquired, and the villagers have moved out for a long time. Thus, it is only a matter of time before the demolition of the village. Nevertheless, the old villagers who have left the village gathered again at the end of 2016 in order to organise Tai Ping Qing Jiao once more.

Starting from 2006, the Jiao Festival co-organised by Shek O Village, Tai Long Wan Village, and Hok Tsui Village features two performances of floats on the parade day when sacrificial rituals are conducted, attracting immense crowds. Shek O Village used to be predominately a Hakka community, but now many foreigners reside in this small village and enjoy the immersion into the local culture. Some of them even joined the Shek O Residents Association and partook in the organisation of the Festival.

The 280-year-old Lam Tsuen Jiao Festival also introduced some new elements to traditions in 2017. There were talks, exhibitions and newly published books, all because the organisers are convinced that Jiao Festival means more than making wishes and giving thanks in modern days. It is also crucial in strengthening people’s understanding of their community and the bond therein.

Traditionally, the Jiao Festivals in the New Territories are hosted by Taoist priests living in villages, which demonstrates the Festival’s localised nature. However, since the 1980’s, these Festivals, including the one in Lam Tsuen, have gradually seen the participation of Quanzhen Taoist priests from temples. These male and female Taoist priests believe in doing good for all people, so their religious rituals are not targeted at a particular village or community. Instead, they aim to rescue and redeem the whole world. They are rather different from those Taoist priests who mainly serve Jiao Festivals in villages.


Producer: Yoko PANG

Hong Kong Heritage

  • Video
  • English
  • Culture
  • On-going
Hong Kong has inherited traditional Chinese cultures. Situating at a unique geographic position while having a special role historically, for over a century, Hong Kong has always been an important hub for Chinese people to travel abroad as well as the new home for them to settle down. People of different races and nationalities from all over the world gather in this place. Cultures, customs and skills of all kinds can be passed on, evolved and integrated as a result, and thus enabling this small city to preserve its rich cultural heritage. Following the implementation of the Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage which was put into effect by UNESCO, the concept of “Intangible Cultural Heritage” has been increasingly popular while the local community has been placing more emphasis on the conservation of cultural heritage.

This programme is set in Hong Kong with the aim to present the characteristics of Hong Kong’s local culture from different perspectives, so as to let the general public have a more in-depth understanding of various kinds of cultures, as well as to enhance the awareness of the society to preserve the already endangered local culture. At the same time, different cultures have taken roots in the local communities. Not only do they bring about different social meanings, but also a cohesive force to bring various types of people together. On top of that, this programme will show specifically that cultural inheritance does not merely serve as a positive force for small communities and the society as a whole, but an indispensable element for social development in a modern society as well.

Narrator: John Culkin

Broadcast Details:
This 11-episode programme will be broadcast from 26 October 2018 on RTHK TV 31 and 31A.
Back To Top