Phuc Kien Assembly Hall, Hoi An Ancient Town
Hoi An Ancient Town or Hoi An City is located in the downstream area of Thu Bon River junction in the coastal plain of Quang Nam province, 28km from Da Nang city to the southeast. Phuc Kien Assembly Hall located at 46 Tran Phu Street is one of the tourist attractions in Hoi An. Tourists usually come here to admire the Chinese ancient architecture style and pray for peace and happiness.
The house was built by Vietnamese people living in Hoi An in 1692. The house was originally a Buddhist thatched pagoda called Kim Son. In a short time, It was damaged heavily, and the local people sold to the rich Fujian merchants, who fled from China to Hoi An in the 17th century after their ancestors lost in the fight with the Qing to restore the Ming Dynasty. After the restoration in 1759, the pagoda was renamed Phuc Kien Assembly Hall. It was used to worship of their ancestors and Thien Hau Holy Mother, who was believed to save and protect the traders during their escape. It was also the place for the meeting of Fujian community – the biggest Chinese community in Hoi An at that time.
Coming Phuc Kien Assembly Hall, first, Visitors see the three-entrance gate. The gate is a beautiful structure covered with blue enamel tube-tiles. Near the main door of the assembly hall, there are two huge embossments, in which the boats symbolize for the sea overcoming journey to Vietnam of Fujian people. Visitors might also notice that symbols of sacred animals such as dragons, unicorns, turtles, and phoenixes are featured quite a lot in the architecture of the Phuc Kien Assembly Hall. These symbols deeply reflect the Oriental people dream of achievement, good luck, long life, couple happiness.
The main hall worships the statues of Avalokitesvara sitting in meditation posture, Thien Ly Hau Holy Mother, the God of Thien Ly Nhan Thien Hau (thousand-mile vision) and the God of Thuong Phong Nhi (thousand-mile hearing). People usually come here to pray for good things. In the center of the back sanctuary are the statues of the three most famous Kings of the Ming Dynasty and the six generals who died in the fight for the restoration of the dynasty.
The right altar in the back sanctuary is dedicated to the three Sanh Thai goddesses and 12 midwives who are said to teach newborns basic skills such are sucking and smiling. As a result, couples keen to have children often visit Phuc Kien Assembly Hall to pray for children. The left alter is dedicated to the God of Wealth. The merchants who wish wealth and good luck usually pray here.
Nowadays, Phuc Kien Assembly Hall is one of the most popular tourist sites in Hoi An. Visitors come here not only to explore a beautiful work of architecture but also to pray for good things for themselves and their family. Besides, tourists can participate in many annual events and activities to celebrate Chinese festivals.
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