Kung Hei Fat Choi! Happy New Year from Hong Kong! Part II

The Year of the Snake

The Year of the Snake

“In a splendid carriage you emarked on your journey. Today, you came home barefoot. Is it that you failed the imperial exam? Or did you lose all your gold in business?” This was the fortune for Hong Kong drawn by Heung Yee Kuk chairman Lau Wong-fat, a member of the legislative council for Hong Kong. Fortune on stick #95, which is one of the unluckiest fortunes, has fortune tellers warning Hong Kongers that they will be faced with “wicked people” in the year of the snake. This was the story reported in the South China Morning Post.

It is the year of the snake and many consider it to be a dark year. But the snake does have many virtuous qualities. It is said that a if you have a snake in your house, you will never starve. A snake is keen and cunning and intelligent and wise.

We set out to visit the temples in Hong Kong on the third day of the new year. This is the day that is slotted for families to visit the temples. One Hong Konger told us that it is prescribed that you go to the temple on the third day because you have spent two days with the family already and that you might begin to fight. You should go to the temple and talk to the gods to avoid fighting. The photo don’t even begin to show you how busy the Wong Tai Sin temple was. There were thousands visiting that day and incense billowing into the sky.

We also visited Chi Lin Nunnery that was very peaceful and has lovely gardens. Striking contrast to the Wong Tai Sin Temple.

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Touch the Dragon for good luck upon entering the gates to the temple

Touch the Dragon for good luck upon entering the gates to the temple

Walking along with the masses. Burning incense everywhere. Being tall, had to watch out that my hair was not lit on fire from the burning sticks.

Walking along with the masses. Burning incense everywhere. Being tall, had to watch out that my hair was not lit on fire from the burning sticks.

Lighting incense in one of many lanterns

Lighting incense in one of many lanterns

All kinds of hawkers with many types or religious items.

All kinds of hawkers with many types or religious items.

Just like the smoke from the rising incense, the pin wheels blow good wishes out into the world.

Just like the smoke from the rising incense, the pin wheels blow good wishes out into the world.

Peaceful waters in fountain at Chi Lin Nunnery

Peaceful waters in fountain at Chi Lin Nunnery

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Inside the temple courtyard. No photos allowed up close to the altars.

Inside the temple courtyard. No photos allowed up close to the altars.

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