Saturday, August 20, 2005

Tourism Authority of Thailand calls in ancient goddess to clear away ghosts from its beaches after tsunami

Statue of Mazu, Meizhou Bay in Putian, Fujian Province

BANGKOK (Reuters, Aug 19/05) - Mazu, a Taoist goddess of the sea [and protector of sailors and immigrants], has a huge following among fishermen and shipworkers in coastal provinces of southern China and Taiwan.

With Asian tourists still shunning its southern beaches [because they feel it is inauspicious to visit a place of mass death], Thailand is calling in … revered Chinese sea goddess to ward off the restive spirits of the thousands who died in last December's tsunami.

A statue of Godmother Ruby, known as Mazu in Chinese, will be brought to the Thai island of Phuket … [from China] … for ghost-clearing rites, said Suwalai Pinpradab of the Tourism Authority of Thailand.


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