11th February 2024 – (Hong Kong) Today, on the second day of the Lunar New Year, a significant number of Hong Kong citizens flocked to the renowned Che Kung Temple in Sha Tin to seek blessings and offer their prayers. According to the Chinese Temples Committee, a total of 16,836 individuals visited the temple from 8am to 12pm. Various wishes were expressed by the devotees, ranging from prayers for good health to hopes for the government to provide financial aid and aspirations for a prosperous year ahead.
While the atmosphere at Che Kung Temple was relatively calm compared to previous years, our correspondent observed that many worshippers were still keen on engaging in some retail therapy. Windmills, symbolizing the turning of fortunes, were particularly popular among visitors.
Mr. Chan, who arrived at the temple around 8.30am, noted that the crowd seemed smaller compared to previous years, as there was no need to queue for fortune sticks as before. He expressed his hope that the government would provide more assistance to the underprivileged and attract more tourists to stimulate the economy in the coming year.
However, some stall vendors expressed their disappointment with the lacklustre business they experienced at the temple. A store owner attributed the decline in sales to the closure of nearby entrances by the government. This resulted in fewer visitors passing by their stalls after finishing their temple visits. Mr. Cho pointed out that in the past 18 years, there had been no such road closures, and he believed that the measure adversely affected their businesses. He hoped that after the fourth day of the Lunar New Year (13th February), the roads would reopen. While he understood the need for crowd control measures, he expressed his concerns about the excessive restrictions. Moreover, with inclement weather in the forecast, he worried about the possibility of not being able to recover his losses.