THREE HOLY MOTHERS

Post date: 04/02/2018 | 01:04 - Posted By: VietTheatre - Category: Vietnam's Mother Goddesses

In Mother Goddess Worshipping, especially in the pantheistic system of  Four Palaces Region, we are familiar with the appearance of Three Holy Mothers in red, green and white dress in the order. Each color represents an area that the Mothers administer. Red of heaven (Thiên Phủ), Green of Forest (Nhạc phủ) and White of Water (Thoải phủ).

So, what does Three Holy Mothers mean? And Who’re in the Three Holy Mothers?

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Three Holy Mothers includes The first Mother Goddess of Heaven (at the middle in the red,)The second Mother Goddess of Forest (on the left in the green) and The third Mother Goddess of Water on the right in the white). Source: Google

Three Holy Mothers includes 3 Mother Goddesses: The first Mother Goddess of Heaven, The second Mother Goddess of Forest and The Third Mother Goddess of Water.

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Three Holy Mothers in a folk-art painting in their own colors which are symbolic of three realms:
The first Mother Goddess in the red of heaven/sky, The second Mother Goddess in the Green of Forest and
The third Mother Goddess in the white of Water. Source: Google

The Mother Goddess of Heaven or The First Mother Goddess is in red and in the middle of Three Holy Mothers, who administers all heavens. In the thought of Four Magics (Magic of Cloud, Rain, Thunder and Lighting) in folk, The Mother of heaven has the power of creating cloud, rain, thunder and lighting, that is involved directly in our culture and customs. The First Mother is worshiped everywhere but especially much and formally by people in the areas where she descended on. Her feast is on March, 3rd in the lunar calendar.

The Mother Goddess of Forest or The second Mother Goddess is on the left of The First Mother and wears the green. She administers all Forest and has a very close relationship with human beings, plants and animals. Temples of hers locate all over the country but two main are in Mỡ stream, Bắc Giang province and Bắc Lệ, Lạng Sơn Province. Wherever the forests and mountains stay, The Mother Goddess of Forest is worshipped by people. Her feast is on Sep, 20th in the lunar calendar.

The Mother Goddess of Water or The Third Mother Goddess manages all rivers and streams. She is on the right of The First Mother Goddess in Three Holy Mothers and wears the white. Her legends associated with lives of people in the rivers and related to the ancestors of Vietnamese in the beginning of our country. People built a lot of temples at rivers-mouth to worship in order to give her their grateful. In fact, she has ever never descended. Her feast is on June, 10th in the lunar calendar. The festival is organized formally at Đền Mẫu Thác Hàn Sơn, Hà Trung, Thanh Hóa Province.

There are various stories about Three Mother Goddesses in Three Holy Mothers.

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A wood statue of The First Mother Goddess of Heaven, who is surrounded by lots of controversies.
Legend has it that, she is actually Liễu Hạnh Mother while some others consider she is
The Mother Goddess of Nine Heaven who controlled all realms. Source: Google

It is said that all of Three Holy Mothers was just three times descending on earth of The Mother Goddess Liễu. In other words, Liễu Hạnh Princess turned into The Mother Goddess of Heaven, The Mother Goddess of Forest and The Mother Goddess of Water.

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Photo: An actress from Viet Theater in the red of The First Mother Goddess in front of
Vietnamese department Heaven at World Travel Market (WTM) in London, UK,
that is in series of activities introducing hầu đồng culture as well as The Viet Worship of
Mother Goddesses Religion to the world. Source: Viet Theater

There is not The Mother Goddess of Earth in Three Holy Mothers because it is said that heaven and earth is one and The Mother Goddess of Heaven and The Mother Goddess of Earth are the same. On the other hands, others think that The Mother of Earth and The Mother of Forest are one just because Forest belongs to the earth.

In the belief of Mother Goddess of Four Realms, it is said about The Four Holy Mothers in pantheistic system: The Mother Goddess of Nine Heavens, The Mother Goddess Liệu Hạnh, The Mother Goddess of Forest and The Mother Goddess of Water. In some areas, people located The Mother Goddess of Nine Heavens at the main altar. However, in others, she is worshipped outside on her own altar.

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