The only temple in Hong Kong that offers facilities for Taoist wedding services, the Wong Tai Sin Temple is one of the most famous temples in Hong Kong. Known for its fortune-tellers, visitors flock here year round so that the soothsayers that reside in the temple can inform them as to their future.
History of the Temple
This Taoist temple is not ancient. As a matter of fact, it was built in 1921 and named for Wong Chuping, a shepherd who began following Taoism at the age of 15. By the age of 55, it is said that he reached enlightenment and gained immortality. From that point on, he was referred to as Wong Tai Sin.
It is believed that Wong Tai Sin rescues the dying, heals the wounded, and punishes all evil. Taoists also believe that he has the power to grant whatever is requested of him. For that reason, thousands of visitors come to Wong Tai Sin Temple each year to have their fortunes told and to make a wish at the altar. They light “worship sticks” and shake a bamboo cylinder until a fortune stick falls out.
The stick, which bears a number, is then exchanged for a piece of paper which bears the fortune of the worshiper. A soothsayer will interpret the writings on the paper. Those whose prayers are answered often return to give thanks to Wong Tai Sin, whose picture can be found near the main altar.
The Wong Tai Sin Temple is constructed in traditional Chinese style. The temple boasts large, ornate red pillars and a magnificent gold roof. The roof is decorated with blue friezes, many carvings of various colors, and ornamental yellow latticework.
Three memorial archways, which are a very common feature of classic Chinese architecture, can be found on the grounds of the temple. One is carved with the name of the temple.
At the complex, you’ll also find a Nine-Dragon Wall, similar to the famous one located in Beijing. There’s also a Good Wish Garden, a favorite place for visitors to gather. This is a particularly popular spot to visit during the Chinese New Year and in celebration of the immortal Wong’s birthday, which is on the 23rd day of the eighth lunar month.