Sai Kung's Tin Hau Temple with festive decorations
on the first day of Chinese New Year
The sound of drums and this unusual sight
caught my attention and drew me to the vicinity!
You know it's a special day when a unicorn
goes to pray at a temple ;b
Earlier today, I did what has come to be a personal ritual or tradition on the first day of Chinese New Year: i.e., I went for a hike in the Hong Kong countryside. Like on two previous occasions already in 2019, I met up with friends in Sai Kung town before catching a green minibus that took us to our trail head up in the Sai Kung Peninsula. But unlike on those two previous occasions, I arrived earlier in town than expected and consequently was able to take in some sights in Sai Kung town beforehand.
Since it's been some years since I paid a visit to the Tin Hau Temple in Sai Kung town, I thought it'd be worth doing so again this morning. While walking towards it, I could see that there were festive decorations installed in its vicinity in the form of bright red banners and lanterns as well as colorful flags. And I also could hear drums and gongs being beaten -- and upon getting near the site, got to realizing that they were being beaten for a dancing unicorn that was paying a visit to the temple!
I wasn't in time to see the dancing unicorn pay its respects to Tin Hau but I did get to witness it paying its respects to Kwan Ti (the god of war and righteousness who, like Tin Hau, was a real life historical figure) in the hall in the temple where a statue of him has pride of place. Almost needless to say, I found this to be a pretty cool and special experience; one that most definitely doesn't take place every day -- but, then, the first day of Chinese New Year is a pretty special day in Hong Kong (and other parts of the world with a significant ethnic Chinese population)! :)