One of the most popular deities in China, recognized by Buddhists and Taoists alike, is Guan Yin—an embodiment of the virtues of loving kindness and compassion. Guan Yin, whose name means 'the Hearer of the Cries of the World' is worshipped by sailors, farmers, merchants and women seeking to bear children. Her birthday sees believers flocking to temples and shrines to pray and make offerings of fruit and vegetables. No firecrackers are set off, as the goddess' presence alone is enough to deter evil spirits. It is traditional to eat vegetarian noodles on this day.
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