Monkey God Festival
From: Tuesday, September 25 2007, 7:00 pm
to: Wednesday, September 26 2007, 6:59 pm
Kowloon's Sau Mau Ping Temple provides the setting for the Monkey God Festival, one of Hong Kong's most fascinating, and strange, celebrations.
The Monkey God, like all monkeys, is mischievous. This arrogant and troublesome deity first appeared in Pilgrims to the West, a Chinese novel written during the Ming Dynasty (AD1368-1644). An outcast from Taoist heaven, the Monkey God redeemed himself and gained Buddhist immortality by escorting Tang Gan Zang on his pilgrimage to the West to obtain the teachings of Lord Buddha.
At his shanty town temple in Kowloon's Sau Mau Ping area, a possessed medium recreates the ordeals by fire and stabbing which the Monkey God suffered during the unsuccessful attempts of the other gods to execute him. The medium, who remains unharmed, runs barefoot over blazing charcoal and climbs a ladder of knives.