Suitcase and World: Man Mo Temple.

Sunday, March 25, 2018

Man Mo Temple.

We exited the Central-Mid Levels escalators at Hollywood Road and walked down the road until we go to Man Mo Temple.

Man Mo Temple is a temple for the worship of the civil or literature god Man Tai and the war god Mo Tai. The two gods were popularly patronized by scholars and students seeking progress in their study or ranking in the civil examinations in the Ming and Qing dynasties. There are several Man Mo Temples in Hong Kong, the best known of which is the temple in Sheung Wan which is the one located at 124-126 Hollywood Road.

The temple was built in 1847 and is part of a complex that also includes Lit Shing Kung Temple which is for the worship of all heavenly gods and. Kung So, an assembly hall where community affairs and disputes were settled.

The entrance to the temple is very modest and you could easily miss it if you're not paying attention.  Past the entry gate is a very small courtyard and then the temple building itself.

Even before you enter the building, you can smell the incense.  Once you step inside, you know why.  Dozens of large coils of incense hang from the ceiling rafters.  The room is small and the only natural light that comes in filters down from slats in the roof above.  Otherwise, the space is lit by small, electric Chinese lanterns.  Red ribbons hang down from the incense coils and lanterns.  It's a small, intimate but very pretty space.  Other than the overwhelming, heady scent from the incense which was hard for me to take in at times, I really liked this little temple.

I was fascinated by the coils.  I've never seen ones so large or any hanging from the ceiling.  I was curious about the ribbons too.  I think they are prayers or wishes written by the person who bought the coil to be hung up.  I looked around to see if I could find coils for sale but no luck.

There wasn't much to see here so after we took our photos, we left.  Next....a tram ride to the peak.