The time-honoured Na Tcha Customs and Beliefs of Macao, having been passed down from generation to generation, were inscribed on the National Intangible Cultural Heritage List in 2014. To manifest the diversity of Macao’s culture, and contribute to the long-standing safeguarding and sustainable transmission of Na Tcha Customs and Beliefs, the ‘Na Tcha Exhibition Hall’ was unveiled in 2012. Choreographed by the Cultural Affair Bureau and supported by the Na Tcha Temple Association and residents nearby, this initiative enabled locals and visitors to grasp the festivities, history and customs related and dedicated to this Deity.
The exhibition room in Na Tcha Temple, a construction that brings together the traditional and the modern, has a total area of around 70 m2. This room presents the legend of Na Tcha and its festivities and exhibits several objects used in the celebration of the deity’s birthday, such as religious incense burners, couplets, objects used in religious processions, like the Sedan-Chair of Na Tcha, the ceremonial umbrella, lion heads, and also firecrackers for the religious festivities, among others. Furthermore, the Cultural Affairs Bureau has created a video about Na Tcha’s festivities and has compiled, on an eBook format, photographs of commemorative activities in honour of this deity taken during the last decades, allowing the visitors to witness the history and the evolution of these traditions. The exhibition showcases eight drawings explaining the origins of Na Tcha’s legend in a didactic way, being the work of a local popular cartoonist, named Ah-Cheng. Through these objects, the visitors can better understand the meaning of the Na Tcha beliefs and traditions, as well as experience the festive atmosphere of its celebrations. Also exhibited in this space are artifacts and construction remains found during archaeological excavations, believed to have belonged to the western wing of the Church of Mater Dei.