The birth of the Da Jiu festival dates back to 1778, when a group of villagers gathered on Tap Mun (Grass Island) to celebrate a Tang family wedding. Suddenly a ferocious thunderstorm erupted, whipping up the waves. The villagers prayed to Tin Hau, goddess of the sea, to protect their community, boats and livestock - promising in return to host a Da Jiu ceremony once every 10 years. The howling storm ceased, and that is why Tin Hau has been revered ever since. In the spring of last year, workers began HK$4 million in renovation work on the island's 400-year-old Tin Hau temple. Hong Kong craftsmen recreated the interior woodwork and altars. The tiled roof and exterior walls were refinished and a new bronze incense holder, from Foshan in Guangdong province, was placed in the temple's plaza. The eight-month overhaul was followed in December with the temple's reopening celebrations, in which more than 500 villagers took part. This week the villagers' dedication to Tin Hau will be affirmed yet again, with their once-a-decade Da Jiu festival.