Local Festivals Around the Year
\ \ \ AA BB
Recently Visited

Deity-reciprocate Event at the Ksitigarbha Temple

  • The 24th day of the 9th month of the Lunar Calendar

    There are a few Ksitigarbha(梵語)/ Tei Chong Wong temples organized by the Hok Lou people in Hong Kong. From the end of the 7th month to the mid-August, these temples hold individual celebrations of Ksitigarbha’s birthday. Among all, the Ksitigarbha Temple located on Tsui Ping Road in Kwun Tong holds a special event on 24th of the 9th Lunar month to pay their tribute to Ksitigarbha. The event consisted of parades, deity-inviting rituals, performances of auspicious animals and Kung Fu as well as Chinese opera performances that last for days. It wa a rich presentation of the Hok Lou culture and became one of the biggest celebrating events in Kowloon District.

  • Ksitigarbha

    Ksitigarbha, also called Earth Treasury Buddha, wa one of the four principal bodhisattvas(梵語) in Chinese Buddhism. It wa said that as told by Gautama Buddha, Ksitigarbha would not turn into a Buddha until the he emptied all beings in six realms and saved all those in misery before the nirvana of Gautama Buddha and the rise of Maitreya Buddha. Therefore, the Hok Lou people (people from Shanwei) address him as Ksitigarbha Buddha, but they usually worshipped this bodhisattva as the master ruling the hell based on the folk religion, hoping the deceased were relieved from their pain in hell.

  • Sau Mau Ping Resettlement Estate (kai liu)

    Tsui Ping Road is previously the resettlement estate of Sau Mau Ping, commonly known as kai liu. In the late 1950s, Ksitigarbha was led to Hong Kong by a Hok Lou person surnamed Chan from his hometown in Huidong County, Shanwei prefecture, Guangdong. He settled the bodhisattva’s statue in a cave on the hillside. On 18th June 1972, a thunder storm struck Hong Kong, and the mud slides destroyed tens of wooden huts in the resettlement estate with a death toll of 71. But the cave in which the Ksitigarbha settled was not flooded by the slides. Considering it a sacred sign of Ksitigarbha, people proposed to the government to build a Ksitigarbha temple on the hillside. A temple was then established in 1976. The government also built a Sau Mau Ping Memorial Park at the disaster-hit area.

    Apart from Ksitigarbha Buddha, some other deities rest in the Ksitigarbha Temple as well, including the City God and three Buddhist and Taoist patriarchs (Patriarch Chiu, Patriarch Lui Dongbin, Bodhidharma). The temple also houses memorial tablets of the Deity of Earth and some others, including the Sea Goddess of Lion Hill and other indigenous ancestors, all guarded by Tai Si Wong.

  • Events Held to Reciprocate Deities

    Since 1964, the organizing committee of Kowloon Kwun Tong Wai Hoi Luk Hing Benevolent Society has been holding an annual event on 14th of the 9th Lunar Month to pay homage to Ksitigarbha Buddha, the City God and other deities. On the very same day in the early 60s, Ksitigarbha was moved to the cave. Folk opera troupes from Hoi Luk Fung were invited to give live Chinese operas and dramas performance for ghosts. There were usually two performances each day and the performance generally lasts for ten to twelve days depending on sponsorship, which is the longest among all the festive events in Hong Kong.

  • [视频库视频: 130443811a6.mp4]
  • The Deity-inviting Parade

    Prior to the event to reciprocate deities, the committee first “invited” all of them to the event from the Temple on 22nd day of the 9th lunar month and housed them at the temporary altar opposite to the performing stage. On the morning of next day, deities in the neighboring Tai Wong Ye Temple and Sam Shan Kwok Wong Temple were also invited and settled in turn. The performing groups always carried out a few performances in the Ksitigarbha Temple before the huge crowd consisting committee members and other martial art groups heads towards other temples to invite more deities. With all performers dressed in traditional costumes, the grand parade team comprising about two-hundred members attracted wide attention and passers-by always stopped and watched the parade.

  • The whole process took around two hours. Various deities returned to the Ksitigarbha Temple and were well settled for the reciprocating event. Martial art groups performed the lion dances and the Hok Lou people’s Kung Fu. It wa an entertainment to both humans and deities.

  • On the 24th of the 9th lunar month, worshipers bringing sacrifices came to worship in the Temple all day long. At about four in the afternoon, meals were served to worshippers and the staff. In the evening, an opening ceremony wa held with officers of the Liaison Office of the Central People’s Government in the HKSAR, council members, representatives of government departments and people of local communities invited. Such an event wa more than just a religious occasion. It has evolved into a celebration event bringing together people in the area of Kowloon East and is now a platform for exchange and liaison for many parties.