GONG XI FA CAI!
“2019 Chinese New Year is arriving on February 5, 2019. That is the 4716th Chinese year. The zodiac sign of 2019 is the Pig. According to the Chinese Horoscope calendar, 2019 is the Female Earth Pig year. Brown is connected to the earth. Therefore, 2019 is also called the year of the Brown Pig! ” (chinesefortunecalendar.com)
These photos were taken last MAY 2017 at Po Lin Monastery, Lantau Island, Hong Kong. I went there with my friends, Merzl and Jaja!
The Po Lin Monastery in Lantau Island is one of the famous Buddhist temples in Hong Kong which despite being a popular attraction to tourists, still maintains its essence and traditions and is well-frequented by loyal caretakers. The Monastery is one of Lantau highlights and a visit is easily done together with the Big Buddha as they are literally across from each other. Moreover, the Characters on top of the main temple spell out “Po Lin Monastery” meaning “Precious Lotus”. The lotus flower is a special symbol in Buddhism meaning “Purity”.
Furthermore, the Po Lin Monastery is a fully air-conditioned temple, and tourists are highly discouraged from taking photos inside the place. As one way of paying respect to the gods, you have to perform the Chinese traditional bow ritual called as “Kowtows” as acts of worship. Worshipers at local temples for the Dragon King bow three times before an image of deity, place incense sticks before it, cast lots of numbered bamboo sticks and make donations. Pilgrims visiting temples sometimes line up and stop every few steps and bow.
Although we did not celebrate Chinese New Year there, I just want to share how beautiful the Buddhist Temples were! It is the perfect place where you can reflect on yourself and talk to Buddha and the other gods around the temple. These temples have not only become a place to worship but have become a center of social and welfare activity.