Che Kung’s Birthday

Che Kung's Birthday

Image Courtesy: Jonathan Herr used under the Creative Commons Licence

Che Kung’s birthday, a special event all over China, falls on the second day of the first lunar month. This event is celebrated in memory of Che Kung, believed by the Chinese to be the general of the Sung Dynasty, who later became a Taoist deity after he saved many from a plague.

The Che Kung Temple was built to honour the military commander of the Southern Song dynasty (1127–1279), who subdued many uprisings and fought epidemics. This temple was built around 300 years ago in a desperate move to stop an epidemic that was spreading across the Sha Tin area. According to legend, the epidemic began to subside on the day the construction was completed.

A giant statue of Che Kung can be found at the altar in the main worship hall, which is flanked by a huge drum and bell. Next to this, is a fan-bladed wheel of fortune, which the faithful believe will bring good luck when spun three times. Fortune tellers often gather to ply their trade at the left of the entrance. On this sacred day, all temples devoted to Che Kung are filled with worshipers who come to pray and seek good fortune, as he remains a good luck charm for many.

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