Nghia An Hoi Quan Pagoda

24

Nov
2021

Nghia An Hoi Quan Pagoda

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Renowned for its  detailed wood- work and intricate  carvings, this pagoda is one of the oldest in Ho Chi Minh City. Built in the 19th century, the temple is dedicated to Quan Cong, a deified Chinese general, and Nghia An, his horse’s faithful groom.

On entering, to the left are two of the pagoda’s most distinctive features – larger-than-life-size wooden statues of Quan Cong’s red horse and Nghia An. Devotees pray at these statues, touching them to collect blessings. Of the two, the horse is considered more sacred. Devotees ring the bell around its neck, and crawl under it to the other side, symbolically wiping up blessings along the way.

To the right is a glass encased altar to Ong Bon, Guardian of Happiness and Virtue. The main sanctuary, entered through wooden folding screen doors, features friezes of a tiger and dragon on either side of the hall. The glass cases behind the main altar have images of Quan Cong and his assistants – Quan Binh, his chief mandarin, on the right, and Chau Xuong, his chief general, on the left. On the 14th day of the 1st lunar month, unicorn, lion and dragon dance groups perform in front of the temple. After the worship takes place, numerous artistic activities commence that last for a few nights. These performances and activities are held to demonstrate the admiration of the Hoa community for Quan Cong.

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