Why Meizhou Island? Three reasons: incredibly blue sea, magnificent temples, and enchanting stories of Mazu.
Fujian has a sea goddess - Mazu (Lin Moniang), who is not a stranger to fishermen in coastal areas. Mazu, a goddess in China's South-East coastal areas, enjoys 200 million followers around the world. Mazu Temple in Meizhou Island is the "headquarters" of all Mazu Temples in Fujian, Zhejiang, Taiwan, and even Southeast Asia, and is the recognized palace for Mazu by followers across the globe. Every March 23 (birthday of Mazu) and September 9 (Assumption Day of Mazu) on lunar calendar, numerous overseas Chinese come to Meizhou to worship Mazu. The unprecedented festival well demonstrates the position of Meizhou in Mazu Culture.
Located in the mouth of Meizhou Bay, Xiuyu District, Zhangzhou, Fujian Province, Meizhou is about 3 km away from the mainland. Reputed as the "Penglai in the South", Meizhou boasts over 30 attractions like Jiubaolan Golden Beach, rocks of goose tail shape and the world's largest architectural complex of Mazu Temple.
Meizhou is a small island within the girdle of sea, and is only accessible by boat. The only way to Meizhou is take ferry or yacht at Wenjia Wharf. Buses for Meizhou Island only stop at Wenjia Wharf.
The temple enshrines lifelike statue of Mazu in the middle, with eight divine status standing at both sides like Chen Jinggu - divine protector of women and children, Lady Qian Siniang - constructor of famous water conservancy project Mulan Dam in the Song Dynasty, the navigator Zheng He and General Shi Lang who recovered Taiwan.
Mazu Temple attracts endless streams of pilgrims. Every year during the fiesta, thousands of followers come here for a grand memorial ceremony. For this reason, Mazu Memorial Ceremony is called China's three largest traditional ceremonies together with "Confucius Memorial Ceremony" in Shandong and "Ceremony of Emperor Huang" in Shannxi.
Facing a boundless stretch of clear water, Jiubaolan Golden Beach in the southwest corner of Meizhou Island is the largest beach on the island, and is called "No.1 Beach in the World". It is said that some even saw magnificent "mirage" here.
Meizhou has clear water and long coastline without rubbish or lots of commercial elements. All you can see here is pure water and blue sky. Finally, a picture of Mazu Temple to wish you good luck!