Feature Story


International Analogy

Japan - Minyō is a general word used to describe folk songs in Japan that are performed by amateurs as well as on stage by professional folk singers. Minyō include work songs, lumberjack songs, traveling songs, songs for celebrations and dances, and many more.

Fostered in a cradle with early civilization and profound history, Tai O is a living legend that honours the inherent richness and shines with the quintessence of Chinese time-honoured cultural arts. Blending traditional charm with artistic flair - Cantonese Opera (粵劇), Ritual Performance (神功戲) and Haam Shui Goh (鹹水歌) are the distinctive elements of Tai O traditional entertainment. Open the window and immerse yourself in the sensory delight with acrobatics, exquisite costumes, refined gestures and martial arts.

Cantonese Opera Opera for Ritual
Haam Shui Goh

Cantonese Opera (粵劇)

Every year in Tai O, there are plenty of opportunities to watch the Cantonese Opera, which was officially inscribed on UNESCO's Representative List of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity on 30 September 2009. This was the first intangible cultural heritage item recognised in Hong Kong. Cantonese Opera is a very formalised operatic form that involves music, singing, martial arts, acrobatics and acting.  These plays tell stories about Chinese history, traditions, culture and philosophies.

Opera for Ritual Performance (神功戲)

In order to celebrate the birthday of Tin Hau, the opera for Ritual Performance will be held on the lunar 23rd of March every year to thank the spirits and pray for good weather in the coming years. It was considered to be the most important event in the Tai O fishing village. It usually takes place in a temporary bamboo-shed theatre built in front of the Tin Hau Temple.

Haam Shui Goh (鹹水歌)

To express feelings to their lovers or about their hopes in life, people in Tai O improvise and sing songs called ham shui goh (鹹水歌), or " songs of the sea." This custom is similar to tribes who sang at the top of their voices to each other on the hills, usually at special occasions such as weddings and funerals. It was selected for the National List as one of the Intangible Cultural Heritages in China.