Tuesday, July 9, 2019

Man Mo Temple in Hong Kong

Man Mo Temple was built between 1847 and 1862 by wealthy Chinese merchants as a tribute to the God of Literature (Man Cheong) and the God of Martial Arts (Mo Tai), both of whom were worshiped by students looking to succeed in the civil examinations of Imperial China.  The temple is part of a compound that also includes Lit Shing Kung, built for the worship of all Chinese gods, and Kung Sor, a meeting place for the Chinese community where community affairs and disputes were often discussed and settled.

The entrance to the temple contains hanging coils of incense to help initiate entry into the tranquil state of the complex

 Temple entrance

 Hanging Incense coils

The temple is small, beautiful, and peaceful inside and is an example of traditional Chinese architecture, exquisitely decorated with ceramic figurines, granite and wood carvings, and plaster moldings and murals.

 Temple interior

In 1908, the temple was entrusted to the Tung Wah Group of Hospitals and, even today, the Tung Wah Board of Directors and community celebrities congregate at the temple every year for the Autumn Sacrificial Rites to pay homage to Man Cheong and Mo Tai as well as to pray for the prosperity of Hong Kong.  The temple is of great historical and social value to the territory as it represents the traditional social organization and religious practices of the Chinese community in Hong Kong.

Small and delightful, I've enjoyed my visit to the temple and learned a little more Hong Kong history.

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