This watercolor sketch is of one of the roof ornaments at the Wong Tai Sin Temple in Hong Kong. Wong Tai Sin is one the largest and most famous temples in Hong Kong. A Taoist temple named after Wong Chuping, it is known for it’s fortune telling. Supposedly the fortune sticks here are very accurate. Worshippers kneel before the altar shaking a bamboo container holding slender sticks of wood, similar to those coffee stirring sticks at Starbucks only a bit bigger. There can be as many as 50 or more worshippers doing this at once and there can be quite a commotion from all the shaking and chanting. When one falls out, the stick is exchanged for a piece of paper by the sooth sayer at the temple, bearing the same number as the stick. The sooth sayer then interprets the fortune for the worshiper. Some temples like this one have many stalls, with fortune tellers or sooth sayers which are open for consultation for anyone seeking guidance.
Roof Detail at Wong Tai Sin
The temple has extensive gardens in the back including a replica of the Nine Dragons Wall from the Forbidden City in Beijing. What is really odd is the juxtaposition of the temple and gardens surrounded by the towering Hong Kong apartment buildings.