Buddhism and Taoism

Buddhism and Taoism, traditional Chinese religions, have a large local following with more than 600 Chinese temples in the HKSAR. The major festival of Buddhism is the Buddha's Birthday, which falls on the eighth day of the fourth moon.

    Buddhist and Taoist deities are often honoured together in the same temple. Leading deities include Buddha, Kwun Yum (the Buddhist Goddess of Mercy) and Lui Cho (a Taoist god). Besides this, deified mortals such as Che Kung and Kwan Tai are revered in recognition of their feats. Tin Hau, the Queen of Heaven and Protector of Seafarers, is worshipped widely. During the Tin Hau Festival, which falls on the 23rd day of the third moon, many worshippers visit the most famous Tin Hau temple, at Joss House Bay on the Clear Water Bay Peninsula. Other leading deities include Pak Tai (Supreme Emperor of the Dark Heaven and local patron of the island of Cheung Chau) and Hung Shing (God of the South Seas and a weather prophet).

    Notable temples in Hong Kong include the Wong Tai Sin Temple, named after a Taoist deity, Wong Tai Sin, located in the Wong Tai Sin District in Kowloon. Nearby, the Chi Lin Nunnery in Diamond Hill is a group of temple structures built in the architectural style of the Tang Dynasty. The Po Lin Monastery on Lantau Island is famous for the Tian Tan Buddha, a majestic bronze seated Buddha believed to be the largest outdoor Buddha statue of this style in the world. It attracts a throng of visitors during the weekends and holidays. Other well-known temples include the Che Kung Temple in Sha Tin in the New Territories, and the Man Mo Temple in Hollywood Road on Hong Kong Island.