|Gate of Wong Tai Sin Temple, Hong Kong|
Story of History
Wong Tai Sin Temple is named after Wong Chuping. When Wong Chuping was 15, he began to follow Taoism. Forty years later, he achieved enlightenment and became immortal. People called him Wong Tai Sin from then on. It is said that he punishes evils, heals the wounded, and rescues the dying. His influence spread from Guangdong Province to Hong Kong in the early 20th century. With his mercy and his power, he is said to grant whatever is requested. Wong Tai Sin Temple is known for its fortune-telling. The fortune sticks (or lots) here are very accurate. Many people who visit the temple come to have their fortunes told. Generally, worshippers entreat the fate of the same year. They light worship sticks, kneel before the main altar, make a wish, and shake a bamboo cylinder containing fortune sticks until one falls out. The stick is exchanged for a piece of paper bearing the same number, and the soothsayer then interprets the fortune on the paper for the worshipper. Wong Tai Sin has many worshippers in Hong Kong, so the joss sticks and candles burn exuberantly all year round, especially during the Chinese Lunar New Year and Wong Tai Sin's birthday - the 23rd day of the eighth lunar month.
Wong Tai Sin Temple is also called Sik Sik Yuen. Its architecture is in traditional Chinese temple style: grand red pillars, a magnificent golden roof adorned with blue friezes, yellow latticework, and resplendent multi-colored carvings. Aside from the Daxiong-baodian or Grand Hall, Sansheng Hall and the Good Wish Garden are also worth seeing. The grounds also feature three memorial archways. The first one stands outside the temple and is carved with the name of the temple. If you walk past the soothsayers and the fortune-telling stalls, you can see another memorial archway. And if you continue further along the third memorial archway standing before you. Memorial archways are a common feature of traditional Chinese architecture. Also at the temple are the Nine Dragon Wall--a replica of the renowned Nine Dragon Wall in Beijing, and the Good Wish Garden - a miniature copy of Beijing's Summer Palace .
Additionally, Wong Tai Sin Temple is the only temple that offers facilities for wedding ceremonies in Hong Kong.