Apr 13, 2006|
HK: Who is Che Kung?
Wong: He was a general during the Sung Dynasty (960-1279 B.C.) and elevated to a Taoist deity when he saved the inhabitants of Sha Tin and the New Territories from a terrible plague. People come here to pray for good fortune; many call him the God of Fortune.
HK: Do you get many gamblers who come here to pray?
Wong: I wouldn’t be surprised. We are near Sha Tin racecourse, after all.
HK: When is the busiest time of the year?
Wong: Definitely during the Lunar New Year period. People come and celebrate his birthday on the second or third day of the new year. It would be the most popular destination after Wong Tai Sin temple.
HK: What are the ceremonial tributes about?
Wong: Incense sticks are the standard, but you can also buy different-sized candles; it’s believed the bigger they are, the more sincere you are. Worshippers also can turn a fan-bladed wheel of fortune clockwise three times to ensure good luck in the coming year.
HK: Che Kung uses a big, broad sword. Would he beat Kwan Tai (God of War) in a fight?
Wong: It’s hard to say. Kwan Tai uses a partisan. Both have such powerful weapons.
HK: Why do people have you to ask their wishes?
Wong: People usually say their wishes quietly, to themselves, but shouting them out is getting more popular. They ask us to do it because some are too shy to shout them out in public. Or they just don’t know what to say. Even now, the older generation does it themselves.
HK: Does your throat get sore?
Wong: It does get tough sometimes, because of all the incense smoke. But you get used to it, or you can just wear a mask, like me.
HK: Well, here are some incense sticks... enlighten me.
Wong: Today is the 8th day of the third month / Mr. Lee comes before you with sincerity / He hopes that you, Che Kung, will hear his prayers / He prays that you will protect him and his family every day / He prays that there will be good fortune and wellbeing when needed / He prays for good health for his family / He prays for an ever-improving career / May every road be free of obstacles / Today you have prayed to Che Kung for fortune and safety within heaven and earth.