Unlock a perfect Year of the Dragon in 2024 with exclusive tips shared by feng shui master Mak Ling Ling
HONG KONG–(BUSINESS WIRE)–2024 marks the Year of the Dragon in the Chinese zodiac. A legendary creature with the amazing ability to roam the sky and sea, dragon is regarded as the most prestigious entity of the 12-animal Chinese zodiac, its corresponding year therefore holds a significant place in the Chinese culture. As the Year of the Dragon signifies positive outlook and dynamic, it is the best time to broaden your horizons through traveling. With this “Ultimate Guide to a Prosperous Year of the Dragon” curated by feng shui master Mak Ling Ling, you can effortlessly unlock a perfect new year while immersed in the festive bliss around Hong Kong!
1. To pray for success in career and education
No Chinese New Year trip to Hong Kong is complete without a visit to the temple! The city is home to a myriad of historical temples, among which is the famed Man Mo Temple in Sheung Wan. Widely regarded as a sanctum to pray for success in career and education, this declared monument remains one of the most popular attractions despite its relatively compact interior. Undoubtedly, its convenient location in the bustling tourist hotspot of Central and Sheung Wan has also contributed to its unwavering popularity. Man Mo Temple is dedicated primarily to the Civil God (god of literature) and the Martial God (god of martial arts): office workers who wish for career advancement can pray to the Civil God and touch the “Man Cheong Writing Brush” for good luck; while business owners can pay homage to the Martial God and touch his sword on the statue to pray for success. For academic achievement, students can bring their stationery and pencil case to the altar, and let the items be blessed by the deity to achieve better results.
2. To pray for prosperity
To pray for prosperity and happiness for the entire family, honouring Kwun Yum (the Goddess of Mercy) is the right way to go. Among the numerous temples in Hong Kong dedicated to Kwun Yum, the one in Hung Hum is the largest and most famous in Kowloon. The 26th day (6 March 2024) of the first lunar month is known as the “Kwun Yum Treasury Opening Festival” (the day that is believed when Kwun Yum opens her treasury and lends money to people). On this special occasion, you will find worshippers flocking to this Grade 1 historic building and eagerly queueing up in front of the temple since midnight, all hoping for wealth that is symbolised by the “money” (an imaginary loaned amount written on a red paper note) they can borrow from the Goddess. Even on days other than the “Treasury Opening Festival”, tourists can still visit this historical temple to pray for the Kwun Yum’s blessing on fertility, love life and health.
3. To pray for health and smooth sailing
With close to 300 years of history, Hau Wong Temple in Kowloon City is favoured by worshippers who wish for good health. The temple is especially packed during the Hau Wong Festival, which falls on the 16th day of the sixth lunar month. Apart from the main deity of Hau Wong, the temple also houses Tai Sui, the 60 deities in charge of the 12 Chinese zodiac signs combined with the five elements of Chinese astrology. Every year, certain Chinese zodiac signs are considered “fan Tai Sui” (clash with that year’s ruling deity) and people with those signs are at risk of bad luck. For the Year of the Dragon, the “unlucky” signs include Dragon, Dog, Rabbit and Ox. If you were born in one of these years, you may appease to the ruling deity by performing a “sip Tai Sui” ritual, which involves writing your name and date of birth on a “Tai Sui yi” (joss paper), followed by offering incense sticks to the Tai Sui deities, praying to be protected against adversity in the year ahead.
4. To pray for perfection and fruitfulness
Renowned for its supposed ability to make worshippers’ requests come true, Wong Tai Sin Temple is the ideal place to pray for a perfect Year of the Dragon. During Chinese New Year, the festively adorned temple is home to one of the city’s biggest traditions – first incense offering. Locals believe that those who enter the temple first and burn the inaugural incense sticks will receive the biggest of blessings. Thus, crowds of worshippers gather at the temple around midnight of Chinese New Year’s Day to participate in a sacred running race. While the first place may be quite a challenge to achieve, you can still burn incense sticks at Wong Tai Sin Temple any day during Chinese New Year to pray for a propitious Year of the Dragon.
Wong Tai Sin Temple also houses the statue of Yuelao, the deity in charge of love and marriage. Believers who long for a breakthrough in their love life can make a wish by offering flowers and fruits to the Statues of Yuelao, which is flanked by the statues of Couples, named mythical lovers “Golden Boy” and “Jade Maiden”. Legend has it that Yuelao will tie a red thread on the feet of couples who are destined for marriage, so after making your wish to Yuelao, don’t forget to conclude the ritual by touching the feet of either “Golden Boy” or “Jade Maiden”!
5. Good fortune galore
If you are looking to boost your luck during the Chinese New Year trip in Hong Kong, be sure to make a beeline for Che Kung Temple! On the third day of Chinese New Year, droves of worshippers crowd the iconic temple, whose signature feature is the copper fan-bladed wheel of fortune. Despite the fact that Che Kung Festival falls on the second day of the Chinese New Year, many locals prefer to visit the temple on the third day instead as it is believed to be a day when people are prone to quarrel, so they opt to visit the temple in order to avoid meeting friends or family on this conflict-prone day.
There are specific rituals to follow in order to pray for good luck at Che Kung Temple. Upon entering the temple, beat the drum three times before proceeding to spin the fan-bladed wheel of fortune. If you had a good previous year, spin the wheel clockwise to keep the upward trend; otherwise spin the wheel counterclockwise in order to “spin away” the misfortune. Before you go, don’t forget to take home a pinwheel and place it at this year’s auspicious position on the southwest or northeast for an extra boost of luck!
In the art of feng shui, it is believed that the prosperity of a place is connected with its mountain and water, so a nature ramble during the first lunar month is considered an auspicious way to kick off the new year. To embrace the beauty of Hong Kong’s majestic mountain and water landscape, hop on the Peak Tram at Central for a bird’s eye view of the Victoria Harbour; or visit the Big Buddha on Lantau Island, followed by a charming stroll in the “Venice of Hong Kong” – Tai O fishing village, which is just a 30-minute ride away.
Another fascinating place where you can tap into nature’s spiritual energy is Tai Tam Reservoirs. This declared monument is renowned for its magnificent dams and hundred-year-old masonry bridges, which can be admired along an easy hiking trail sprinkled with picture-perfect spots.
Hong Kong has an abundance of attractions waiting to be explored this Chinese New Year. Take action now for planning your trip to Hong Kong, don’t miss out on the festivities and temple-hopping itineraries to usher in good fortune for the Year of the Dragon!
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