During the third and the fourth lunar months, different groups of devotee gather to celebrate the birthday of the deity Tin Hau (Empress of Heaven) who has been revered as the special "guardian angel" of seafarers in Hong Kong. During the festival, ceremonial rituals are held at Tin Hau temples across the territory. Among these temples, Tai Miu at Joss House Bay, Sai Kung is the oldest and largest one in Hong Kong, and receives the homage of many fishing vessels.
Tai Miu, which literally means "the great temple", was erected during the Sung Dynasty. Historical records of the temple were carved on a rock at Joss House Bay dated 1274. After the discovery of the rock inscription, the Government recognised the historical significance of Tai Miu and took forward a number of improvement projects in the vicinity. Besides, the festival has also been promoted as a tourist event for overseas visitors in Hong Kong.
During the festival, thousands of fishermen, seafarers and worshippers visit Tai Miu to pray for Tin Hau's blessing. Apart from making food offerings such as roast pigs, chickens, ducks and other offerings, devotees also keep on burning incense and joss sticks in tribute of the deity.
Accidents occasionally occurred at sea and ashore involving devotees who were on board a ferry to Tai Miu or disembarked from the ferry. In the light of this, the Marine Police has worked with the Marine Department to maintain order and provide rescue services.