Saigon is considered a cross- cultural land of domestic and foreign parts. In which, it must talk about the development of Chinese community in general and Chaozhou people in particular on this prosperous land. Chaozhou people immigrated to Vietnam together with cultural characteristics from their original country, of which the belief of worship Guan Gong is most special and typical for the cultural spirit of Chinese people. At Saigon, such that spirit is clearly presented through the architectural work: Hoi Quan Nghia An.
The typical architectural work of Chaozhou people in Saigon
Nghia An Hoi Quan is also named The Whale Temple, Quan De temple and located at number 676 Nguyen Trai street, ward 11, district 5, Ho Chi Minh city. The temple worships Guan Gong, a well-known person in the Three Kingdoms Period. In the Chinese culture, the Guan Gong temple represents the royalty which always look back the hometown of people working far away.
Worship Guan Gong, one of cultures of the Chinese in Southern region.
The Chinese living in Vietnam built a number of temples and shrines worshipping Guan Gong as the way to protect the traditional culture in a foreign country. Of which, Nghia An Hoi Quan is considered as the most typical work.
The architecture carries the spiritual culture of the Chinese in Saigon
The name Nghia An Hoi Quan relates to the source of the Chaozhou Chinese people. In the olden time, they lived in Nghia An, a land of Guang Dong, China. Then they immigrated to Saigon, formed into a big community and built Nghia An Hoi Quan in 19th century as a gathering and worship place as well as presenting their spiritual culture.
Vertical boards with the beauty of calligraphy art
To Nghia An Hoi Quan, tourists have a chance to admire architectural models of the Chinese. Almost Chinese temples are built with square architecture with rows of square houses, and a large yard of 2,000 square meters in front of.
The special art form of Nghia An Hoi Quan Saigon
The whole architecture of Nghia An Hoi Quan includes front room, yard, incense house, main house and other rooms along two sides of the shrine. Despite through many restorations, the relic still reserves unique typical architecture of Chaozhou people. All is represented through the usage of color and design in the temple.
From the two sides of the large gate to the temple, visitors will be amazed with five pairs of stone unicorns placed symmetrically. Look up the board “Nghia An Hoi Quan”.
A pair of stone unicorns placed symmetrically
Nghia An Hoi Quan is also excellent with ceramic statues on roof tiles or carved with flowers, unicorn statues, parallel sentences, and many valuable paintings. Such these exhibits are subtly engraved, showing legend stories of China in Saigon to teach next generations. Moreover, Nghia An Hoi Quan is rustic with images of daily life, colors of life for many generations of rural farmers.
A typical engraved statue
Noteworthy for its gilded woodwork, this temple has a large carved wooden boat hanging over its entrance and inside, to the left of the doorway, an enormous representation of Quan Cong’s red horse with its groom.
The main magnificent house of Nghia An Hoi Quan
Annually, the pagoda organizes Quan De ceremony on 24th of June lunar calendar. This is an occasion for Chaozhou people in Saigon gather and express their gratitude to their hometown and honor traditional cultures of the Chinese people.
A corner of Nghia An Hoi Quan
Related: Tours of Ho Chi Minh City
It can be said that Nghia An Hoi Quan has been totally reserved with traditional cultures of the Chinese in Saigon. A magnificent and ancient pagoda is described with big values of architecture and art and was recognized as the national architectural work in Saigon by ministry of Culture, Sport and Tourism.
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