Fujian Assembly Hall or also called Phuc Kien Assembly Hall is one of five official assembly halls in Hoi An. They are Chaozhou (Trieu Chau), Guangdong (Quang Dong), Fujian (Phuc Kien), Hainan (Hai Nam), and Haka.
Vietnam has a long history with border to China. Therefore, Chinese people have long highly appreciated the community life. For the purpose of uniting together in trading, they can mutual assistance when having any troubles. As a result, they have established their own assembly halls in Hoian. And Fujian Assembly Hall has been famous for its magnificent beauty, splendor. Especially, the majesty in a large space has unique architecture of Chinese architectural style and its sacredness.
Is Fujian Assembly Hall in Hoi An is must a visit?
Yes, Phuc Kien Assembly Hall was in a place where Chinese residents from Fujian could meet up and socialize while they are living or visiting Hoi An. The hall was built in 1697 with the main gate added much later; it is also a World Cultural Heritage site. Especially, it is one of the main attractions in Hoian and has much visiting to discover this superb piece of architecture.
Fujian Assembly Hall is a place of worship Thien Hau Thanh Mau and the gods of protection of the river, money, children, and ancestors. And it is also the place for a meeting place for compatriots and helping to unite each other of the Fujian people to Hoi An earliest and most crowded.
After many restorations, with the contribution of the Overseas Chinese Association of Fujian Assembly Hall became more brilliant, spacious and contributed to beautify the appearance. And it contributes for Hoi An ancient architecture uniquely.
Previously it was built entirely by wood but in 1757 this Assembly Hall was rebuilt with bricks and roof tiles as you see. Compared to other Assembly Halls in Hoi An such as Guangdong, Trieu Chau, Hai Nam …… Fujian has the widest and deepest space, with the old architecture. The Assembly Hall was recognized as a first-class relic on March 19, 1985.
How is Fujian Assembly Hall (Phuc Kien Hall) unique?
When you get inside Phuc Kien Assembly Hall, you can comfortably contemplate the impressive apricot blossoms-shaped aquarium. And the picture of “the carp turns into the dragon” plus the entrance gate in the unique architecture, and more the forecourt with numerous breathtaking ornamental plants give you the impression to see.
Here, there are three aquariums arranged in horizontal rows. While two rectangular aquariums are designed each other symmetrically. The third aquarium is as the model of Great Wall, a symbol of China.
Fujian Assembly Hall Architecture
When you reach the main hall, it is the biggest room which lies a shrine and many delicate-carved dragons. Behind the central altar are the God of Prosperity and the figures of the goddess of fertility, three fairies and twelve midwives. Therefore, childless couples often visit this temple to pray for having children. Visiting around the temple, you can see a lot of plethora of statues, bronze drums, bronze bells and horizontal lacquered board engraved with Chinese characters. All these combinations and arrangements reflect every element in the hall tend to imply the Chinese philosophy of happiness.
In fact, Fujian Assembly Hall is a relic of religious beliefs in Hoi An. This assembly hall is also the home for the numerous of fascinating activities organized annually on 15th January (lunar calendar), 16th February (lunar calendar) and 23rd March (lunar calendar). These attract the great number of tourists both Vietnamese and foreigners to take part in.
On the right is the place to worship God Thien Ly Nhan – a God can see far away thousands of miles. And another is the God Thuan Phong Nhi – a God can hear thousands of miles away. Two of them are support gods for Thien Mau Thanh Mau to find people have problem on the sea to help.
On the left side of main hall, there is sailing modal displayed which had problem by businessmen on sea since 1875 with many specific details. The most noticeable thing on the boat is the eyes. Hoi An people think that people or animals have eyes to look at life and look into their hearts, objects associated with human destiny must also have eyes. Therefore, this boat is painted with two eyes on both sides, big and clear to see the disasters on the sea.
Continue at the middle praying table, here is the place of worship for six Luc Tanh Vuong Gia (Generals). They are including Kham Vuong, Truong Vuong, Thuan Vuong, Chu Vuong, Hoang Vuong and Thap Tam Vuong. These six Fujian Generals took the lead in the anti-Ming movement in China, but they failed. As a result, they took their descendants by sea to reach Hoi An in Vietnam. There is the anniversary of the death of these six on the 16th February of the lunar calendar every year.
However, some people can come here one day earlier to offer incense and pray them. The Assembly Hall also prepares vegetarian foods to pray for a peaceful life, favorable wind and rain, and healthy people.
The right altar is the place to worship the big statue of Mrs. Chua Sinh Thai, who shaped the child. The two Sects below were a birth and a death woman. Below are twelve Midwives (Ba Mu), each of whom takes care of the child each month for the first twelve months. So when the child was less than one year old, once they laugh or say something, people think that the Midwives is teaching him/her. Because of this thought, people often organize a cradle or full year to express their gratitude to the midwives.
In the old days, at the ceremony, people often prepared 12 pieces of betel and 12 pieces of betel nut to make offerings to twelve Midwives and also have one for God Ba Chua Sinh Thai. Thanks to this belief, the Assembly Hall is also a place for those who are in need of children to come here and pray for themselves.
And on the left altar is the place to worship God of Fortune. The god on the left is the White God of Fortune, also called Phuc Than, the god of wealth. The god on the right is the Black God of Fortune who punishes those who use money inappropriate.
- Address: 46 Tran Phu Street
- Price: entry with Old Town ticket (~5.2 USD/ticket)