Have literature and war ever existed together? There is a huge divide between these two. Union or harmony between literature and war is hard to imagine, but they exist together at the Man Mo, the oldest temple in Hong Kong, in the form of two idols. Their devotees assemble at this temple for two reasons: to pray for examination success and to settle disputes.
Man Mo has undergone a number of facelifts, but you can still see much of its original appearance. Located in close proximity to Cosmopolitan Hotel Hong Kong, Man Mo temple was built in 1847. The signatory attraction of the temple is its bronze bell erected in 1847. Taoists, a Buddhist sect, set up this temple while Hong Kong was under the colonial yoke. Apart from the two main idols, you will see other minor idols as well in the temple premises. During peak season which is usually between October and November, Hong Kong hotel rooms are generally booked; so if you plan to stay at any hotel, do make an early reservation.
Forget all those attractive theme parks for which Hong Kong is quite famous. The temple has its own splendour thanks to its gigantic incense coil and its pleasant aroma. The temple was held in high esteem especially because it was a learning centre of many government officials during the Imperial times. The students had to undergo rigorous training at this temple to be chosen for the government sector.
You can also see how customs prevail and evolve in Chinese temples, especially at the very old ones. One such custom is the ceremony where a chicken’s head is cut and a yellow paper (belonging to the Qing dynasty) is burnt in order to sort out conflicts. There are many other interesting rituals as well, which you will be certainly privy to upon making friends with a local or two.
Intrigued by history, art and food, Lavinia Woolf is a writer who is passionate about the extraordinary and writes of the exhilarating and enchanting.