Ho Shing and Pai Fung temples in the village of Ho Sheung Heung in the New Territories of Hong Kong. Photo Credit: Accidental Travel Writer.
Temples dedicated to Hung Shing, a historical figure that was deified after his death, are situated throughout Hong Kong and Guangdong province.
A festival in his honour is held every year on the 13 day of the 2nd month on the Lunar calendar.
Hung Shing Temple and Pai Fung Temple in the village of Ho Sheung Heung were originally 2 separate buildings built at 2 different times in 2 different places.
While the date of the construction of Hung Shing Temple is unknown, the oldest relics of the temple at the site date back to the 16th century.
Pai Fung Temple, which was originally located in Pai Fung Ling, was moved to its present site in 1937. The 2 temples were connected by a kitchen in the 1960s.
Because of the kitchen, the temples appeared to be one structure when I moved to the New Territories in the late 1990s, and they were in a terrible state of disrepair.
A few years back, bamboo scaffolding was erected around them, and they were taken apart tile by tile, brick by brick.
By the time the workers had finished, only the walls were left – and even they were not fully intact. The kitchen was totally destroyed. The workers they set about rebuilding the 2 temples.
Hung Shing, a.k.a. Hung Shing Ye and Tai Wong, was a government official in Guangdong province during the Tang Dynasty (618 – 907).
Hung Shing was not only highly regarded for his righteousness and sound governance, he was also respected for his promotion of education and application of astronomy, geography, and mathematics.
By establishing an observatory, Hung Shing contributed to the well-being of the people under his governance, especially fishermen and mariners.
As with many of the gods worshipped in China, Hung Shing was a historical figure that was deified after his death. He is believed to have saved many lives during storms.
More than 30 temples dedicated entirely or partially to Hung Shing are scattered about Hong Kong. There are several on Hong Kong Island and in the New Territories as well as one in Kowloon.
There are also several Hung Shing temples on some of Hong Kong’s Outlying Islands as well as overseas.
The Hung Shing Festival is held on the 13th Day of 2nd Moon of the Lunar Calendar, which will fals on 21 March in 2016 and 10 March in 2017.
The largest Hung Shing celebration is held at the Hung Shing Temple in Ho Sheung Heung, which is located on the outskirts of Sheung Shui in the Northern New Territories.
Events include a traditional procession, Chinese opera, and other events.
A similar festival is held at the Hung Shing Temple on Ap Lei Chau on the southern side of Hong Kong Island.