General Humin was a scholar and a fighter who was deeply empathetic and philanthropic whose contributions to the Chinese Fujian people have been remembered annually so many years after his death.

Sunday was no exception in Philadelphia’s Chinatown. There, a parade, lion dance and opera show were among the festivities commemorating the 1189th birthday of Humin, a guardian god to the Fujian people.

Celebrants of the Chinese Hoyu Folk Culture Festival place incense before the assembled gods as an offering for protection and prosperity in the coming year.
MICHAEL BRYANT / Staff Photographer
Celebrants of the Chinese Hoyu Folk Culture Festival place incense before the assembled gods as an offering for protection and prosperity in the coming year.

The city’s first Chinese Hoyu Folk Culture Festival to celebrate Humin was held in 2009, inspired by new Chinese immigrants from Hoyu Township of Fujian and sponsored by the Philadelphia Hoyu Chinese American Association. It has been held every year since, popular with locals and tourists.

According to historical accounts, Humin assisted the King of Min in building the Fuzhou city, including opening ports, attracting investments, and building schools. After his death, the society lapsed into chaos and corruption.

Hoping to be blessed and protected by him, the Fujian people build temples to worship Humin, triggering an annual tradition of honoring him that has lasted more than 1,000 years.