There are many places to visit in Hong Kong other than shopping malls such as the Chinese temples that dot both the urban areas on Hong Kong Island and the Kowloon Peninsula as well as the rural districts of the New Territories.
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 are located in in the village of Ho Sheung Heung, which is near Sheung Shui, one of the many cities in Hong Kong’s Northern New Territories
The temples 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 then set about rebuilding the 2 temples.
Deification of a Historical Figure
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 worshiped 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 takes place on 29 March in 2018 and 19 March on 2019. The celebration usually stretches over two weekends.
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.
Spanning two weekends, the festival kicks off Friday evening at 7 pm, 18 March 2018, with a performance of Cantonese opera.
Other events will include Canto-pop, a traditional procession, and acrobatics, and lion dancing.
A similar festival is held at the Hung Shing Temple on Ap Lei Chau on the southern side of Hong Kong Island.
Hung Shing Temple and Hau Ku Shek Ancestral Hall, Ho Sheung Heung, Sheung, Shui, New Territories Hong Kong. Hung Shing Temple, No. 9 Hung Shing Street, Ap Lei Chau, Hong Kong Island.
How to Get There
Take the 51K green mini bus from the Sheung Shui Station (between the Sheung Shui MTW station and the Landmark North shopping mall) to Sheung Shui. Alternate mini buses terminate at the hall and continue on to the Lowu Correctional Institution.
What do you think of the Hong Kong government’s attempts to protect the city’s heritage?
Please post your comment in the Comment Box below or on Facebook at the following link: Accidental Travel Writer on Facebook. And don’t forget to LIKE us while you’re there!