Guide to Chinese Temples

by David Ng

in Guide,Travel

Lotus Candle
Wandering around Asia, you are more than likely to find yourself at the foot steps of a Chinese Temple.
Without getting too in depth or religious this article will attempt to give a brief introduction of Chinese Temples and what you should expect upon entering.


Thean Hou Temple
This is the Thean Hou Temple in Malaysia dedicated to Thean Hou. You will find that different temples worship different gods but the practices are basically all the same.
Thean Hou Temple
Temple Main Hall
At this particular temple, the prayer hall is located at the top of the temple.
Taking off Shoes
Before entering the prayer hall, some temples require you to take off your shoes.
Joss Sticks
At the prayer hall you will find a box containing incense sticks. According to the box, “after donation, [you should] take 4 joss sticks.” At other temples you may find that instead of asking for donations, there are vendors that sell them for a minimal fee.
Praying
After receiving the incense sticks, you can pray to the gods by bowing forward while holding the sticks at arms-length in front of you.
Joss Pot
Finally, you are to offer the incense to the gods by placing them on the pots.
Lotus Candle
Some people light lotus shaped candles as offerings to the gods.
Fortune Telling
After praying, you can get your fortune told. What you would do is grab the bundle of sticks and drop them back in the bucket. A stick will pop up and reveal a number. After seeing the number all you need to do is open the drawer marked with your number.
Fortune
Inside the drawer is a piece of paper that contains your fortune (usually written in Chinese though).

  • Jesse

    Hey! i remmber getting my fortune told at a temple except i cant read the paper because it was in Chinese.


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