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Man Mo Temple 文武廟, Hong Kong

By on September 5, 2015 in Hong Kong

“Man” means “Civil” and “Mo” means “Martial”, and the Man Mo Temple in Hong Kong is dedicated to the gods, King Man and Holy King Kwan, where Man is the God of Literature, and Mo the God of Martial Arts or War.

Built in 1847 (27th Year of Emperor Daoguang, Qing Dynasty) the Man Mo Temple 文武廟 is located on Hollywood Road, Hong Kong. The temple is managed by the Tung Wah Group of Hospitals (TWGHs) with board members of the hospital and local government officials, meeting yearly at the temple for the Autumn Sacrificial Rites to pay homage to the two gods and to pray for the prosperity of Hong Kong.

Founded in 1870 TWGHs is the biggest charitable organization in Hong Kong. In 1879 the “Shen Wei Pu You” plaque was bestowed upon TWGHs by Qing Emperor Guangxi in 1879 in appreciation to the donations raised to aid a severe drought in Mainland China (1876 – 1878).

The TWGHs offer a range of medical, education, and community services to the needy people in Hong Kong, and in year 2015/2016, there were some 292 service centres throughout Hong Kong. The mission of the TWGHs is “To heal the sick and to relieve the distressed; to care for the elderly and to rehabilitate the disabled; to promote education and to nurture the youngsters, and to raise the infant and to guide the youth.”

As early as in 1880 the TWGHs used the surplus from managing the Man Mo Temple to start a free school and subsequently eight more free primary schools in Hong Kong. Now the TWGHs runs 12 temples with all the proceeds being used to subsidise the recurrent expenses of its community and education services, and for the maintenance of the temples.

The Man Mo Temple 文武廟 has to be one of the smokiest temples I have ever visited, and I have never seen so much incense being burnt in one place.

The photo below shows the main entrance to the temple.

Man Mo Temple, Hong Kong

Entrance to the Man Mo Temple, Hong Kong

And once you are inside it is amazing….

Inside the Man Mo Temple, Hong Kong

Inside the Man Mo Temple, Hong Kong

Man Mo Temple, Hong Kong

At first, I couldn’t work out why the smell of incense was so strong, and then I realised it was being burnt everywhere. The air was thick with smoke, and the walls black with soot.

Incense burners - Man Mo Temple, Hong Kong

Incense burners – Man Mo Temple, Hong Kong

The large cone incense burners I had never seen before…

Man Mo Temple, Hong Kong

The shrines were stunning.

A shrine at the Man Mo Temple, Hong Kong

A shrine at the Man Mo Temple, Hong Kong

A shrine at the Man Mo Temple, Hong Kong

A shrine at the Man Mo Temple, Hong Kong

King Man and Holy King Kwan, where Man is the God of Literature, and Mo the God of Martial Arts or War. Below is the weapon of Mo.

The weapon of Mo - Man Mo Temple, Hong Kong

The weapon of Mo

And there is also the brush of King Man, the God of Literature.

The brush of King Man, the God of Literature - Man Mo Temple, Hong Kong

The brush of King Man, the God of Literature

Incense cones for sale.

Man Mo Temple, Hong Kong

Incense cones burning.

Man Mo Temple, Hong Kong

Man Mo Temple, Hong Kong

The Man Mo Temple 文武廟 is small, but it is jammed packed with history and with things to look.  A stunning place.

FourSquare: Man Mo Temple 文武廟

 

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Nick's continued wanderings can be followed on Twitter: @nickswanderings.
 

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