Step off Hollywood Road and back in time

Although there are several temples in Hong Kong dedicated to the Chinese Gods of Literature and Martial Arts, the Man Mo temple on Hollywood Road is the biggest, and in many respects the most remarkable. A major city landmark since its establishment in 1847, it is listed as a Grade 1 historic building and is preserved as a Declared Monument. This headily atmospheric temple compound is the focus for important Chinese ceremonies such as the Man Cheong Festival on the God of Literature’s birthday, and the Autumn Sacrificial Rites for which huge flower boards displayed at the temple are specially crafted. To pass through the portal and breathe in the incense is to step back from modern Hong Kong more than a century and half into the city’s past. Since June 2014 the Man Cheong (God of Literature and Bureaucracy) Festival has been listed in the Intangible Cultural Heritage Inventory of Hong Kong in the Social Practices, Rituals and Festive Events domain.