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You don't have to be in Hong Kong long to realize there are A LOT of temples dedicated to Tin Hau 天后. The Tin Hau legend is amazing. She's the teen-aged girl who saved the lives of stranded fishermen by flying over the ocean. Depending on the source, she saved her father, brothers, and others from her native Fujian village. This power, along with martial arts skills, makes her a formidable deity and of course very popular in Hong Kong. Sacred Spaces has been to many Tin Hau Temples over the years. Some very old, some not, and some just small shrines by the shoreline. The temple at Lok Fu is one of the best-kept Tin Hau temples in Hong Kong's urban core. Well maintained and mostly visited by neighborhood locals, this temple has the kind of spit-and-shine that exemplifies devoted volunteers hard at work. The statue of Tin Hau is radiant. Her fellow attendees are regal. Why not come along with Sacred Spaces for this visit. We are maintaining the current restrictions regarding the number of event participants. Please be mindful of your calendar. If you cannot attend this event kindly change your RSVP from "Yes" to "No". No-shows are a "No-No". Thanks for your understanding.
The current date is RESCHEDULED from 11 April 2020. You might not know this but Man Mo Temple in Sheung Wan was the first "Sacred Space" we ever visited. One of the most important temples in Hong Kong, this temple is dedicated to The Literary God: Man Cheong - 文帝 and Martial God: Mo Tai - 武帝. Several years ago (and over 275 events later) a group of us met at Sheung Wan MTR Station and walked up and over to Man Mo for a pleasant morning of exploration. I remember how amazed I was then that so many people, of all backgrounds, were interested in visiting a traditional Chinese temple. I still feel that amazement today. Hong Kong Sacred Spaces has grown a lot since then. In addition to a large Meetup Community, our Society, and countless friends and well-wishers, many of the organizations that we've worked over the years have come to appreciate our interest and enthusiasm. One such organization is the mighty Tung Wah Group of Hospitals - 東華醫院. In addition to meeting the medical needs of countless people in Hong Kong the Tung Wah (TWGHs) maintains a string of local temples, none more important than the, you guessed it, Man Mo Temple in Sheung Wan. Hong Kong Sacred Spaces is working with the TWGH Office of Ritualistic Services on a pilot program that will hopefully make visiting temples more educational and inspiring. We've come up with a plan that will include elements of a normal part of a temple visit, however, we'll incorporate more interactive aspects. Activities will include: 1. A short introduction to Man Mo Temple and the Tung Wah Group of Hospitals. 2. Learn how to hang a triangular incense coil on the ceiling of the temple. 3. Chatting with a temple volunteer for a few minutes getting to know what inspires them to volunteer their time and effort at the Temple. This will be an absolutely unique experience and I encourage everyone who's interested in it to "RSVP" for this event. I will be reporting interest and our feedback on this event so Sacred Spaces has a chance to change the way people visit temples in the future. This event is FREE, however, it is for members of the Hong Kong Sacred Spaces Society Members only. Becoming a member is quick and easy, however, it does require that you complete a Sacred Spaces Society Membership Form (available here: http://bit.ly/2hahr3w).
Most of us are familiar with the trek to Sai Kung. It usually involves a drive through East Kowloon and down Hiram's Highway passing various villages until you get into Sai Kung Town. Just before you enter Sai Kung there's an area known as Ho Chung - 蠔涌. In the past, Ho Chung was once one of the most important villages in the area and allied with villages along the eastern coast of what is now Hong Kong. Because of its important position, it makes sense that there's an important traditional Chinese Temple located near the village. That temple is dedicated to Che Kong, the great Southern Song General. In addition to the famous Che Kung - 車公 Temple (one of the oldest Che Kung Temple's in Hong Kong), there are two other fascinating spiritual buildings that reflect the traditional relationship between the local people and the world they live in. Places we'll visit: Che Kung - 車公 Temple - locals believe it to be the oldest Che Kung Temple in the area. Older in fact then the much larger and more famous Che Kung Temple in Shatin. The Immaculate Conception Chapel - 聖母無原罪小堂 in Mei Wo Village. One of the many Catholic Chapels in Sai Kung, ICC still has services twice a year. Built in the early part of the twentieth century the church is a reminder of the potency of the Catholic message in this area. Tin Hau Temple - 天后廟 in Nam Wai Village - 西貢南圍. This is a small and remote Tin Hau Temple that sits along a spit of land attached to Nam Wai Village. In addition to Tin Hau, there's also statuary dedicated to Grandfather Narcissus - 水仙爺爺 a deity dedicated to safety and bountiful catches. Think of him as the lighthouse god. We'll walk from the bus stop which is very close to IC Chapel to Nam Wai which is a flat 15-minute walk. There we'll see the temple and enjoy the laid back village which includes beautiful views of Sai Kung Harbor. Then we'll double back to Ho Chung to see the Che Kung Temple. The walk should take about 30 minutes. We can also take a quick stroll through the Ho Chung old village area and check out the abandoned ATV Studios. Finally, we cross the street where there are a few great places to sit down and have a drink or something nice to eat.