Procession paraphernalia, pair of sun and moon fans

This embroidered fans belong to a set of procession paraphernalia used during the Goddess of the Sea birthday. The sun and moon fans flank the rear of the Goddess' sedan signifying the union of yin and yang as manifested in the goddess.

The image of the goddess along with procession idols are modeled after the imperial family. Her procession paraphernalia thus resembles those used on a royal outing.

Similar and simpler procession paraphernalia have been used since the late 18th century in Fujian province for the Goddess of the Sea birthday celebrations. Beyond South China, her devotees are found mainly amongst Chinese immigrant settlements in Taiwan, Hong Kong, Macau and South East Asia (mainly Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia).
 
During the Cultural Revolution, religious activities like these were banned in Mainland China. Today, it continues to flourish in Taiwan and other places, though their scale varies.