This post is also available in: Indonesia
Confucian communities around the world, especially in Hong Kong, still enjoy the euphoria of the Lunar New Year which falls on (2/12/2021). When chinese new year holidays arrive, Hong Kong is often a tourist destination for tourists. Usually tourists visiting Hong Kong will visit popular places including temples.
Given the world is in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic, Hong Kong temporarily cannot accept many tourists. In fact, Hong Kong is crowded with tourists when Chinese New Year arrives.
Through the first Hong Kong Tourism Board (HKTB) global program entitled Hong Kong Super Fans. Foreign tourists are invited to take a virtual tour of Chinese New Year celebrations in Hong Kong. The virtual tour also mentions 3 temples in Hong Kong that are often crowded when Chinese New Year arrives. Then, which temples are always crowded during Chinese New Year? Listen carefully yes.
Man Mo Temple
The first Hong Kong temple visited on a virtual tour was the Man Mo Temple. The temple was built between 1847 and 1862. Built as an offering for the God of Literature who is expert in the writings and exam results that is Dewa Man. Therefore, Man Mo Temple is often visited by people who want to be blessed by the God.
Since 400 years ago, people who would take the imperial exam must have come to this temple to pray for good grades and pass the test.
The trust is still being held today. Parents whose children will take the exam are brought to this temple to pray that their child is endowed with good test scores or school grades.
A virtual tour guide named Annie explains that this ritual always happens at every Chinese New Year celebration as well as a few days leading up to the new school year in September.
When praying, parents and their children bring books, stationery to school bags to get blessings. It is not uncommon for those who bring leeks and celery as offerings to The God of Man.
At the front of the temple is a statue of the Golden Pen. According to the beliefs of parents in Hong Kong, if a student touches the statue, then the student will be smarter and more active in learning.
Meanwhile, if touched by a writer or worker who struggles in the field of writing, then his writing ability will be more skilled and improved.
“Anyone whose work relates to writing, including journalists, will get the blessing of touching the Golden Pen” annie said.
Wong Tai Sin
Wong Tai Sin Temple is home to three religions such as Taoism, Buddhism, and Confucianism. It is one of hong Kong’s most famous Taoist temples built in honor of the famous monk Wong Tai Sin.
Before the Covid-19 pandemic, the temple was often visited by many television crews to capture the moment of the first incense offering on Chinese New Year.
Meanwhile, thousands of people will queue outside the temple to get a chance to perform incense offerings first. People believe that if the sooner incense offerings, then the request that is climbed will be granted sooner.
Wong Tai Sin Temple is famous for its monthly application through the prediction of bamboo sticks. Visitors will shake iron containers containing divination bamboo sticks that have been numbered. Each number that comes out is the answer to the question the visitor is asking. The bamboo stick can be taken to the clairvoyant or to the fortune teller.
In addition, Wong Tai Sin Temple is also used as a place of prayer by single people to be given true minds. After praying, they will wrap their fingers around the red rope and tie the rope to one of the statues inside Wong Tai Sin Temple.
Che Kung Temple
The third temple visited was Che Kung Temple. The temple was built as an offering to Che Kung, a military commander from the Southern Song Dynasty who was an expert in harboring repression in the 13th century.
According to the story, Che Kung Temple was built to stop infectious diseases. On the day of the temple’s construction, the plague vanished immediately.
In this temple there is a large statue of General Che Kung and a golden windmill known as the wheel of fortune as the determinant of the lucky line in the new year. If last year’s visitors had a lot of good fortune, then the windmill is rotated clockwise so that good luck will continue.
Conversely, if last year’s visitors lived a lot of challenges in life and wanted to turn their fortunes around this year, then the wheel was rotated counterclockwise.
After turning the windmill, visitors can go straight to a drum and hit it three times. It was done to tell General Che Kung that we had finished praying at the temple. In order for good fortune to be carried home, visitors can buy small windmills in several shops in the luat temple.
Well, have any of you ever visited these three popular temples during your Lunar New Year holiday to Hong Kong? If anything, you’re really lucky to see the three famous temples buzzing during Chinese New Year celebrations in Hong Kong.
For those who haven’t, hopefully you can get there quickly. Surely after the Covid-19 pandemic ends so you can freely visit Hong Kong including the three temples. Happy Chinese New Year to those celebrating.