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Chinese Temples Committee
 

Pak Tai Temple, Wan Chai

Pak Tai Temple, Wan Chai
 
 

Located in Lung On Street, Wan Chai, the Pak Tai Temple was built by local residents in 1863. The temple, originally called "Yuk Hui Kung", is now listed as Listed as Grade I historical building by the Antiquities Advisory Committee for permanent preservation.

Pak Tai

Pak Tai is the main deity of the Temple. According to legend, Pak Tai also known as Yuen Tin Sheung Tai (Supreme Emperor of the Dark Heaven)(玄天上帝). He was a prince of Shang Dynasty(商朝) 3,000 years ago and became a learned Taoist at a young age. His name came to the notice of Yuanshi Tianzun(元始天尊), the Taoist Primeval Deity who invited him to join the company of immortals.

 

During the fall of Shang Dynasty, the Demon King ravaged the world. The Taoist Primeval Deity then ordered the Jade Emperor(玉帝) to appoint Pak Tai as the Commander of twelve heavenly legions to fight the evil. The Demon King summoned a big tortoise and a gigantic serpent to help in the combat but was eventually defeated by Pak Tai. On triumphant return to Heaven, Pak Tai was awarded the title of Supreme Emperor of the Dark Heaven. Since then, he is worshipped for his power, courage and devotion. People also believe that he has the spiritual power to abate disasters. Nowadays, Pak Tai is usually portrayed in a triumphant posture with long hair, bare foot and clad in golden armour. The serpent and the tortoise trodden under his feet symbolize that evil will never win over righteousness.

Architectural Setting

Architectural Setting

呂祖殿

太歲殿

主殿

財神殿

三清殿

龍母殿

四大元帥-1

四大元帥-2

四大元帥-3

四大元帥-4

 

The temple is the biggest on Hong Kong Island and is exquisitely built. It consists of three halls with the main hall housing the image of Pak Tai. Flanking on both sides are the images of Lung Mo (Dragon Mother), the Three Pristine Ones and the God of Wealth. In front of the image of Pak Tai are the images of the Sei Dai Tin Wong (Soldiers of Pak Tai) which have lifelike appearances and are poised to strike. There are also side halls of varying sizes. The ridge of the temple roof is decorated with a pair of dragons to symbolize that the temple is being guarded by the dragons. According to legend, dragon represents peace, good fortune and wealth.

Historical & Cultural Relics

The temple houses a three-metre tall copper image of Pak Tai cast in the 32nd year of Wang Li (1604) of Ming Dynasty(明朝), two copper bells which were cast in 1862 and 1883 and a collection of different artifacts made over 130 years ago. Furthermore, the Chinese words "Yuk Hui Kung" on the plaque at the main entrance was written by Cheung Yuk Tong, a high-ranking military official of Qing Dynasty(清朝) who had stationed at the Kowloon Walled City in 1854 during the Opium War.

Other Deities

Apart from the main deity Pak Tai, the temple also houses Three Pristine Ones, Kwan Tai (God of War), Kwun Yum (Goddess of Mercy), Tin Hau (Goddess of the Sea), Fat Mo (Mother of Buddha), Wah San Sing Mo (Mother God of Hua Shan (a famous mountain)), Jai Kung (God of Abating Distress), Choi Sun (God of Wealth), Pau Kung (God of Justice) and Lung Mo (Dragon Mother).

Pak Tai Festival

People come to seek blessings from Pak Tai during the Pak Tai Festival which falls on the third day of the third lunar month. The prime of the temple was during the pre-Second World War period. At that time, people thronged the streets leading to the temple on Pak Tai Festival. Theatrical performances in honour of Pak Tai were held. Pak Tai is one of the Gods of the Sea. People in southern China worship Pak Tai (literally the Northern Emperor) because water that people rely on for cultivation and fishing is brought by rivers that run from the north. If the rivers are calm and well-regulated, farmers and fishermen will have good harvests.

Kwun Yum Open Treasury - the 26th day of the first lunar month
Kwun Yum Festival - the 19th day of the second, sixth, ninth & eleventh lunar months
Tin Hau Festival - the 23rd day of the third lunar month
Dragon Mother Festival - the 8th day of the fifth lunar month
Mo Tai (Kwan Tai) Festival - the 13th day of the fifth lunar month

Renovations

According to the stone tablet inside the temple, the temple has undergone major renovation in 1928. A multi-million dollar renovation work was carried out by the Chinese Temples Committee in 2005.

Renovations   Renovations

 

 

Addresss:

Lung On Street, Wan Chai, Hong Kong

Opening Hour:

8:00am to 5:00pm daily

Public Transport:

  • By MTR - Wan Chai Station A3 Exit - follow Tai Yuen Street, turn left at Queen's Road East, cross the road at the pedestrian crossing near the junction of Wan Chai Road, continue onto Stone Nullah Lane, turn left onto Lung On Street
  • By Tunnel Bus nos. 109 & 113 or Bus nos. 6, 6X, 10, 15, 61 & 66 - get off at Wu Chung House (westbound) or Wan Chai Market (eastbound)
  • By Tram - get off at Southorn Centre, follow the same route as for MTR
 

 

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