Mazu: Guardian goddess of the Maritime Silk Road

With approximately 14,500 kilometers of coastline and naval history spanning thousands of years, China has its own sea gods in its pantheon. Among them, Mazu counts as one of the most influential. Viewed as the godess of navigation in China, Mazu - also popularly known as "Tianfei" (Princess of Heaven) and "Tianhou" (Empress of Heaven) - is at the heart of beliefs and customs prevalent in the country's coastal areas.