05 February 2012

Man Mo Temple

I was walking, walking, walking around Central yesterday and I spotted a peculiar looking building down an alleyway.  With its aquamarine roof and white walls it stood out sharply in contrast to the apartment building after apartment building.  So, I walked down to check it out.

It turns out that mysterious building is Man Mo Temple, built in 1848 at the beginning of the British rule.  The Man Mo Temple houses two gods, Man Cheong or the God of Literature, and Kwan Yu the God of War.  People come to the temple to seek the favor of the gods.  They burn incense and leave little gifts for the gods.

The place was packed.  Apparently everyone in Hong Kong wants to be able to read better or wage war.  For me, this place was a bit eery.  With incense burning from the ceiling, walls, people's hands and then the gong of a drum every time and offering was made, I couldn't help but feel that I was in a very foreign and sacred place.  The movement of people and the haze from the incense smoke made it all seem like some sort of strange dream.

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