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Thais roll out the red carpet for Mazu visit

China Daily | Updated: 2019-11-20 09:59

Statue of China's famous sea goddess from Fujian is warmly welcomed in Bangkok by enthusiastic followers

Followers prepare to move the statue of Mazu out of the Meizhou Mazu Ancestral Temple.[Photo/Xinhua]

BANGKOK-On Sunday morning, Lin Guiying, a Thai Chinese, got up at 6 am, put on a red shirt, and jumped onto a vehicle headed for Bangkok more than 90 kilometers away.

"Since I was a child, my mom told me many stories about Mazu," the enthusiastic traveler said.

Lin later joined thousands of people dressed in red on the streets of the Thai capital. They beat drums and gongs and performed lion dances to welcome and pay tribute to a special visitor-Mazu, China's most influential sea goddess.

Amid camera flashes and the gaze of onlookers, a Boeing 787 Dreamliner departed from the coastal city of Xiamen, Fujian province, on Thursday morning. Aboard the flight was a unique passenger-a statue of the goddess Mazu, which was on its first trip to Thailand at the invitation of local worshippers.

The human-sized wooden statue, dressed in an embroidered robe and a crown decorated with jewels, is a revered icon from the ancestral temple of Mazu located on Meizhou Island, Putian.

The Meizhou Mazu version is the most worshipped statue among Mazu's followers.

During her stay in Thailand from Thursday to Tuesday, the Mazu statue was paraded for a number of cultural exchange activities involving local communities.

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