According to legend, there was a plague in Tai O about hundred years ago. Fishermen dragged Dragon boats carrying deity statues from the temples to perform a water parade in order to expel sickness and evil spirits. Eventually, the plague disappeared. The tradition has been maintained and practiced till today, known as the “Tai O dragon boat water parade”.
During the annual Dragon Boat Festival, three fishermen’s associations, Pa Teng, Sin Yu Heung and Hap Sim Tong, organize the dragon boat water parade. On the morning before the festival, members of the associations row their dragon boats to visit four temples in Tai O, where they receive statues of Yeung Hou, Tin Hau, Kwan Tei and Hung Shing. They carry the deity statues back to their associations’ hall for worship. On the day of the festival, the deity statues are put on sacred sampans towed by the associations’ dragon boats to parade through Tai O’s waters. The deity statues are returned to the respective temples after the ritual.