On Friday, the last day of the Lunar New Year's celebrations, I visited the Kwun Yum Temple in Hung Hom, Hong Kong:
Kwun Yum or Kwun Sai Yum (觀世音) [has been] known for centuries as a deity of sympathy, compassion and mercy, hearing the pleas of those who are suffering. She is worshipped by people of both the Taoist and Buddhist religions. Kwun Yum in the earlier times was a male divinity, but evolved to be a female deity in Tang Dynasty (唐朝). Arising from a saying that Kwun Yum studied Taoist teachings on lotus blossoms, some Kwun Yum Temples are also called Lin Fa Kung or Palace of Lotus Flower (蓮花宮). Temples dedicated to Kwun Yum are often alternatively known as Shui Yuet Kung or Palace of Water and Moon (水月宮), which stands for all that is quiet and peaceful and detached from the material world.The inside did feel detached from the world outside. People prayed, made offerings, and had their fortunes told. The scenes especially contrasted with others I saw later in the day regarding a holiday not so detached from the material world--the subject of the next post. But first, below are a few scenes, most of which include incense burning or being lit, from a temple full of people, smoke, and spirit.