Constructed in 1921, as a huge and active Taoist Temple in Kowloon, Wong Tai Sin Temple is well-known among overseas Chinese in Southern Asia, Europe, and America. Today, the walls and roofs of the temple are in bright colors with red, blue and yellow.
Wong Tai Sin Temple is called after the name Wong Chuping. It is said that when Wong Chuping was 15, he began to follow Taoism. At the age of his 55, he finally achieved enlightenment and became immortal. Since then, people began to call him Wong Tai Sin. The good he did were numerous and profound, like punishing evils, healing the wounded, and rescuing the dying. As a result, he got very famous in the early 20th century, the influence of whom spread from Guangdong Province to Hong Kong. Whatever people requested, he would granted them with his mercy and his power. Another reason why Wong Tai Sin Temple was so renowned is his power of fortune-telling. It is believed that the fortune sticks (or lots) in Wong Tai Sin Temple are very accurate. So people who visit the temple will certainly come to have their fortunes told. Worshippers usually pray for their fate of the same year. You will see such a common scene that worshippers light worship sticks, kneel before the main altar, make a wish, and shake a bamboo cylinder containing fortune sticks until one falls out. Then they take the stick to exchange for a piece of paper which bears the same number, and ask the fortuneteller to interpret the fortune on the paper.
Wong Tai Sin Temple has another name, which is also called Sik Sik Yuen. The architecture of Wong Tai Sin Temple belongs to the traditional Chinese temple style, with grand red pillars, a magnificent golden roof adorned with blue friezes, yellow latticework, and resplendent multi-colored carvings. There are also other sights that worth seeing, such as the Daxiong-baodian or Grand Hall, Sansheng Hall and the Good Wish Garden. The temple grounds also have the feature with three memorial archways. You can find the first one standing outside the temple, which is carved with the name of the temple. Walking past the soothsayers and the fortune-telling stalls comes to another memorial archway. And continue further, the third memorial archway will stand before you. It is a common feature to build memorial archways in traditional Chinese architectures. Here you can see the Nine Dragon Wall, which is a replica of the renowned Nine Dragon Wall in Beijing, and the Good Wish Garden and a miniature copy of Beijing's Summer Palace.
The busiest time in the temple is over Chinese lunar New Year in January. It is the time when good luck is at a premium, the seventh lunar month (the so-called 'ghost' month) and on Wong Ta Sin's birthday (the 23rd day of the eighth lunar month - usually in September). Many fortune tellers can be found in this area who can predict your future. You may be surprised to find that many of them can speak English.
Transportation: Take the MTR to Wong Tai Sin Station and leave at exit B.
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