Photo by David Lo Photography
The Man Mo Temple is the biggest still existing of its kind. Two gods are worshipped there - the god of literature (Man) and the god of martial arts/war (Mo). That's why students used to go there before their exams to pray for good results (so glad I don't have to do exams anymore!).
I'll try to explain some rituals buddhists do when they are at the temple:
Worshippers put their palms together and bow infront of the gods to show their respect for them and their teaching. Another option is to bow with palmes turned upwards which represents wisdom and compassion.
Lighting incenses is the highest form of showing respect to the gods. It trains worshippers to concentrate on one object and let go of mental afflictions as well as material desires. This practise guides them the way to spiritual development.
You will often see tables laid with fresh fruits and flowers. Worshippers place these items upon the altars in appreciation for the god’s teachings and to receive their blessings. This is most common on the Chinese New Year’s Eve, when thousands of people come to the temple with offerings, to thank the gods for a safe and harmonious year.
Tying a Ribbon
At the Man Mo Temple you can get two kinds of ribbons - the red one for wealth and career and the green one for health. You write your name on it and tie it to a wall next to the altar and the gods may provide you with what you need in that field.
Ringing the Bell
The ringing of the bell produces what is regarded as an auspicious sound. It produces the sound Om, the universal name of the Lord. There should be auspiciousness within and without, to gain the vision of the Lord who is all-auspiciousness.
I had a lot of fun discovering a different religion and taking part in the rituals. I hope I explained everything correctly, if not correct me please.
Praying - no matter what religion you belong to - is always a good idea to ground yourself and focus. Through praying (or meditation if you are atheist) you can put some things into perspective and find peace when struggeling with something I believe.
This said I advice you to take some time this Sunday to go into yourself. I promise the upcoming week will be more productive.