Imagine a place where culture, history, and tradition mix together. Now add religion and mystery and you have the Man Mo Temple of Hong Kong. This historic temple is a traditional Chinese edifice that mixes practices of Buddhism and Daoism. Tourists are free to enter and local college students are there to welcome guests and give complimentary tours of the facilities.
Once inside, I couldn’t help but notice the strong scent of incense. And indeed, the incense in the temple is a big part of their beliefs. Basically, people can make an incense offering to a god to solve a problem or achieve a desire. Then, the person lights the incense. In addition to the common “stick” style incense, there are also incense coils which hang from the ceiling.
When I first walked inside the temple, my tour guides had me hit a large bell. This bell is supposed to announce to the deities that a new person has arrived.
Afterward, our tour guides showed us the various statues around the room. Statues of the deities each have an offering area so people of the temple can make offerings of incense, food, and other miscellaneous things to grant their desires or hopes.
On the back wall there is a large display, painted beautifully and ornately, with a statue of one of the main deities in the center. This deity received a large amount of offerings, and people stood around, making their silent prayers to this powerful being. There was a large pen that, supposedly, brings good fortune in schoolwork to all of those who run both hands over it. I definitely took this opportunity to wish for A’s in my classes!
And, of course, I made some friends along the way.
In other news, I made a new Facebook page. “Like” it for updates, giveaways, travel tips, and special deals!