Though Portuguese and Chinese (with Cantonese being the more widely spoken dialect) both are official languages of Macau, the dominant religions are Taoism and Buddhism. Only about 6% of the population goes to the Roman Catholic Church.
You can find people for the whole day when visiting Buddhist temples. Mostly local visitors who pray and burn incense, who absolutely donot mind the tourist-visitors walking in. Sometimes it's a pity the local do only speak Portuguese en Chinese and cannot understand English. I would love to ask some questions about their personal believes ... So just enjoy the atmosphere, the smell of incense and the murmurring of their prayers. Some incenses are huge, and do hang above your head in smoking, pyramide forms ... very impressive to see.
In ancient times the wives of fishermen went into a cave (Gua) for praying for happy returns of their husbands. It was here where the A-MA legends was founded. The Goddess A-Ma (Mother, Who Is Honoured) granted Her name to this island-place by a miraculous legend.
According to the A-Ma legend, there was a beautiful but poor girl, named Lin/Tin. She managed to save the small vessel of a poor fisherman during a fearfully storm. Ships of some rich sailors had refused to take the girl onboard so the poor fisherman picked up the girl. While all rich sailors lost their ships, and their lives, the poor fisherman got ashore safely, and the girl at once got transformed into a goddess, engulfing in a ray of light. A temple was built by the grateful fisherman in the cave where the beautification eventuated, dedicated to Tin Hau, Queen of Heaven, protectress of seafarers.
People still pay honour and respect to the Mother, Who Is Honoured, and dedicated a huge image to the legendary A-MA. Even the A-MA has been confused with the Bodhisattva Quan Yin, the Goddess Kannon/Kwan Yin, and the famous KUN IAM from Macau ...
The intrugueing name of KUN IAM, corresponding with GUANYIN, remains one of the mysteries out of the Ancients. Most striking is the Japanese KANNON, represented by a merchant or Chinese lady who married a holy man named MA, considered in China to be an incarnation of GUANYIN. The Chinese lady got known as ... A-MA! It is said that Avalokiteshvara is the Chinese GUANYIN, or the Japanese KANNON, with about 33 forms. Isn't that fascinating???
Special note: KUN IAM is in Indonesia named KUM IAN!