Get through the horse’s belly for good luck in the Chinese temple

HO CHI MINH CITY – On the 4th day of the new year, many people came to Ong pagoda (District 5) to celebrate the ceremony and get through the belly of a horse to pray for good luck and fortune.

Ong pagoda, also known as Quan De Temple or Nghia An Assembly Hall, was built by the Chinese. The temple worships Quan Cong (or Quan Thanh De Quan), a character in the period of Tam Quoc full of talent and virtue. The pagoda has a dedicated worship space for Xich Tho horse – Quan Cong’s horse.

After the ceremony is completed, the person entering the ceremony goes through the horse’s belly one to three times. They hope that doing so will help keep the year happy.

After getting under the horse’s belly, the person going to the ceremony will ring the bell on the neck of Xich Tho for the cry. The Chinese believe that the echoing tinkling sound will bring luck throughout the year for the person to ring the bell himself.

Not just getting through the horse’s belly and ringing the bell; Visitors to the pagoda also touch the statues of horses and Quan Cong in the altar in the hope of having more New Year’s fortune. “Every New Year, my family will visit Ong pagoda, I hope a year of good luck and health for them”, said Ms. Luu My Linh (District 10), at the same time instructing her son to touch the horse statue for luck.

The main temple of the pagoda is in a central location, in the middle is a worshiping hall of Quan Thanh De Quan decorated with Bao lam, bichang, paintings and many sentences of painted and painted gold in the columns. 

The pagoda was built around the beginning of the 19th century, which is the assembly hall of the Chaozhou and Chow people who came to live in Vietnam. Like most Chinese temples, the work has an overall, rectangular architecture. The pagoda includes items such as electricity bill, Thien Tinh courtyard, incense house, main hall and Assembly hall office along two sides of the shrines.

In the first days of the new year, visitors to the temple are crowded all day long. All must take their temperature, wash their hands and wear a mask before entering. The temple regularly reminds visitors not to burn more than three incense sticks and not to install incense in the main hall.

Many people come to the temple to ask for the first anniversary of the year.

The architecture and decoration at the pagoda clearly express the Chinese style through the design and decoration of ceramic statues and reliefs on tile roofs or unicorn statues, wooden frills … on the ground because of crimson paint truss .

Throughout the roof system are rows of large and small statues with a variety of genres, which are decorated continuously. This type is called pantomime. Each statue shows a character, stories such as dragon carp, Mr. Nhat and Ms. Nguyet, Kim Dong – Ngoc Nu, Chinese tales …

With an area of ​​about 4,000 m2, the pagoda is a tourist attraction in Ho Chi Minh City. Every year, Quan De worshiping ceremony is held on June 24 of lunar calendar, which is the most important ceremony at the shrine.

In 1993, the pagoda was recognized as a national architectural monument.

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