In the Song and Yuan Dynasties, southern Zaitun was a place where foreign ships and visiting merchants were gathered. In 1196, a temple was built here for the worship of the sea goddess Mazu. Later this goddess became the most important deity associated with maritime activities. With the ongoing development of Quanzhou's foreign commumication and trade, and the rise of emigration in the Ming and Qing Dynasties, this became a centre of transmission for the culture of Mazu.
This ritusl of sacrifice to Mazu, performed at her timple in the ancient style, also seems to express best wishes for the safety of the UNESCO delegation in their travels.