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Birthday Ceremony of Qiniangma and the Celebration of Turning Sixteen

“Birthday Ceremony of Qiniangma and the Celebration of Turning Sixteen” are traditional family rituals with collective memories in Tainan. For preserving and promoting this tradition, Tainan Municipal Administration of Culture Heritage(TMACH), has been held the regarding events since 2012. On 17th Aug., 7th July in the lunar calendar, the celebration of turning sixteen exhibition will be held in the former residence of Hsu Tsang Chun; meanwhile, TMACH collaborates with Foundation for Children and Families and invites the children with the Chinese Zodiac Sheep to experience the rituals and blessings from the elderly in The Shis’ Ancestral Hall.

Qiniangma, known as Seven Star Goddess, is considered guardian deity who protects the children until they are sixteen. In order to appreciate Qiniangma’s blessings, on 7th July in the lunar calendar, family members prepare offerings such as foods, cosmetics, and the Qiniangma Pavilion. After the set of rituals, the parents raise up the Pavilion and the children kneel across it, which symbolize the growth of life. The Qiniangma Pavilion will be burned after the ceremony is completed. At last, the red turtle custards are going to be shared with neighborhoods.

Over the last few years, the rituals of “Birthday Ceremony of Qiniangma and the Celebration of Turning Sixteen” are getting wildly awareness since the promotion by TMACH. The children not only obtain the blessings from family while turning to sixteen but comprehend the responsibilities to the society. Moreover, through the rituals, the children will realize the great value of the historical and intangible cultural heritage in Tainan.