Hong Kong

Man Mo Temple

Visitors to this historic temple can follow in the footsteps of the students who once came here to seek the favor of the gods of literature and war.

Literature & War–Not Necessarily Opposed

The people of Hong Kong originally dedicated the historic Man Mo Temple to Man, the god of literature, and Mo, the god of war. Though these seem like polar opposites, there was actually a good reason for it. At the time, students hoping to pass Imperial China’s competitive civil service exams came to the temple to seek both gods’ favor.

Traditional Temple Design

The Man Mo compound, which dates back to 1847, is known for its traditional architecture. It’s especially famous for its hanging incense coils, which spiral from the ceiling in a blaze of coppery red. The building also features various granite, wood, and ceramic carvings.

What’s more, the Man Mo complex holds two other historic sites. The Lit Shing Kung was a worship space for all gods, while the Kung Sor served as a sort of community hall. Now situated near Hong Kong’s busy financial district, the compound received monument status in 2009.