Ba Ma Chau Pagoda
Ba Ma Chau Pagoda, also known as Ba Thien Hau Pagoda, is located in Le Loi street, Ward 2, Ca Mau city, Ca Mau province. Ba Ma Chau Pagoda’s name is Thien Hau Cung. According to geomancy, the temple is located at junction of rivers and has a “Giao long dac dia” position. It was built in 1882 when the Chinese migrants in migration courtiers, who were disobedient with the Ming Dynasty’s regime and migrated to Vietnam and settled here.
According to legend, Ba Ma Chau is a woman born in Putian (Fujian province, China), whose real name is Lam Mat Nuong. When she was 6 years old, she knew history books, poetry books by heart and was good at medical knowledge and medical treatment for people without taking money. She came from a fishing family, her father was the maritime patrol superintendent; therefore, she has a knack for accurately predicting all risks in the sea. As a result, the boats before sailing were to consult her. She died on September 9th, 988 in the lunar calendar when she was 28 years old. It was said that after she died, she still often helped fishermen in distress in the ocean. Consequently, Can Long King gave her the honor title: Thien Hau Thanh Mau. Temple was built for her around the places with Chinese settlers. Chinese people called her “A Pho”, “Pho Temple”, which means “Our Lady”.
Ba Ma Chau Pagoda in Ca Mau was initially a simple thatched roof. By the summer of 1903, Hoi Quan Ban Tieu of Ca Mau Province rebuilt the pagoda with Chinese architecture, especially the late Ming Dynasty’s architecture with “An” shape from the main hall. Through restoration, the temple remained solemn and ancient with statues and human in the legend. The temple with flying dragon roofs, smooth wooden pillars on sophisticatedly shaped rocks, “hoanh phi” shows a very unique serenity.
Ms. Lam Mat Nuong was born on March 23rd, 960 in the lunar calendar; therefore, people everywhere celebrated the ceremony to worship her on this day. On this occasion, Ba pagoda was very solemn with Chinese orchestra and dancing rituals, etc to serve international tourists and local people to worship, thanksgiving and pay for prosperity and peace.