A Man Mo temple is one that pays tribute to 2 gods: Man (the God of Literature) and Mo (the God of War). Scholars used to patronize these gods, wishing for success in their civil examinations in imperial China to advance their ranking.
The largest such temple in the area, and the one most frequently cited as ‘Man Mo Temple’ (even though there are several in HK), is on Hollywood Road in Sheung Wan. [Note: this Hollywood bears no relation to, and was named as such well before, California’s Hollywood]. Built in 1847, this Taoist temple also once served as a court of law. It is an intimate, peaceful respite, just a stone’s throw from the dozens of antique shops and newer galleries, shops, and restaurants sprouting up on Hollywood.
Man Mo Temple is probably best known for its smoky, weeks-long-burning incense coils (said to ‘feed’ or carry wishes to spirits), which pleasantly perfume and cloud the air. From these coils dangle red tags containing written prayers and wishes. But what I enjoy most is respectfully observing the locals, young and old, who come to pray and light candles.
Man Mo Temple
124-126 Hollywood Road, Sheung Wan, Hong Kong
+852 2540 0350