Man Mo Temple on Hollywood Road is one of the best known and most photographed temples in Hong Kong. “Man” translates to civil and “Mo” translates to martial. The temple is so named as it is dedicated to King Emperor Man who is the Civil God (Man Cheong) or God of Literature and King Emperor Kwan (Kwan Tai) who is the God of War, Righteousness and Loyalty. The temple complex, built in 1847 during the Qing Dynasty, is a Grade I Historic Building in Hong Kong. There is a traditional green gable roof adorned with plaster moldings and woodcarvings supported by carved granite columns. The temple is actually is made up of three different buildings. The largest one on the left is Man Mo Temple where students come to pray to the Civil God for good grades in school and businessmen, policemen, as well as gangsters come to pray to Kwan Tai for success and protection. The middle one is Lit Shing Kung where all other deities both Buddhist and Taoist are worshipped. And the third one is Kung Sor where the community used to meet to resolve any conflicts or neighborhood matters. There are many burning coils of incense hanging from the ceiling of Man Mo Temple creating quite a mysterious smoky atmosphere. The little pieces of red paper hanging from the coils have wishes of the worshippers written on them. In the center part of Man Mo Temple stands a golden deer which is often associated with the Civil God Man Cheong. The one here is golden because of the gold leaves worshippers place on its body. To pray for success in school, one should place the gold leaves on the horns; for success in finding a good job, one should place the gold leaves on the face; for a successful business, place on the stomach; for married folks praying for happy family life, place onto the legs; and finally for good health, place onto the back. The clouds of incense smoke together with the shafts of light coming in from the roof in the afternoons are what attracts photographers.
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