The Wong Tai Sin Temple is among the local sites you should not skip in your Hong Kong tours. The Taoist Temple is named after Wong Tai Sin, a Chinese deity said to be able to cure the sick and save the dying. It is said that he was unable to turn anyone away. He was so revered that later generations built a temple to worship him.
The Wong Tai Sin Temple is commonly referred to as the Sik Sik Yuen. Originally built in 1921, the temple has all of the traditional features of a Chinese temple. The temple's buildings are exquisitely carved and colorful. The Wong Tai Sin Temple occupies an area of over 18,000 square meters. Many gardens can be found throughout the temple adding to the beautiful and serene atmosphere. Daily visitors can be seen burning incense and praying in the temple. A unique feature of the Wong Tai Sin Temple is the Nine Dragon Wall, which is a copy of the one found in Beijing's Forbidden City.
Every year, from the twelfth month of the lunar calendar to the first month of the new lunar year hundreds of thousands of visitors come to the Wong Tai Sin Temple to pray and ask for blessings in the New Year. The twenty-third day of the eighth month of the lunar calendar is Wong Tai Sin's birthday. On this day followers of Wang Tai Sin come to the temple at midday to take part in the ceremonies at the main shrine. The atmosphere is bustling and filled with excitement. It is interesting to note that Wong Tai Sin Temple is the only Taoist temple that can perform Taoist Weddings.
It is said that the divination sticks in Wong Tai Sin Temple are extremely accurate, so large numbers of people come to the temple to get their fortunes. Divination sticks consist of a bamboo tube containing 100 bamboo sticks, each having its own number. Visitors think of a question and shake the tube until one stick falls out. Visitors then take the number to a monk to receive a small piece of paper containing a scripture by Wong Tai Sin. A building next to the temple is where people can get the scriptures explained to them. This is extremely popular around the New Year when many believers come to check their fortunes for the year.
Wong Tai Sin Temple is a very special Taoist place filled with traditions. It is a great place to witness China's living culture and history. It is also a great place to learn more about Taoism. The Wong Tai Sin Temple can be found on most visitors to Hong Kong's itinerary and never fails to impress them with its beauty and peaceful atmosphere.
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