- 20 September 2013 (Eighth Moon, Day 16)
- Po Tat Estate, Po Lam Road, Sau Mau Ping, Kowloon
- +852 2717 3378
Monkey God Festival
The Monkey God Festival falls on the 16th day of the eighth lunar month. You can find the Western calendar date here.
Since the mischievous Monkey God first appeared in the Ming dynasty (1386–1644) novel Journey to the West, he’s become a popular character in East Asian stories, with his antics even crossing over into Western television in more recent times.
In mythology, he was born of a mystical stone on the Mountain of Flowers and Fruit, and through Taoist practices, acquired spectacular supernatural powers. But the Monkey God rebelled against heaven and was punished by Buddha, who trapped him under a mountain. He was later freed and redeemed himself by escorting the legendary monk Xuanzang on a perilous journey to India to bring Buddhist scriptures back to China.
The Monkey God has since become revered in Chinese culture and, in bygone days, his festival was celebrated with demonstrations of seemingly supernatural acts. It’s been said that a possessed medium could run barefoot over hot coals and climb a ladder of knives without sustaining any injuries.
Today, people remember the Monkey God by burning incense and paper offerings on his festival. The best place to see these rituals take place is at the Monkey God Temple at Po Tat Estate in Sau Mau Ping in Kowloon, where hundreds of people will turn up to present offerings.