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Huaguang Temple, Nanshan

This article was originally published on May 20, 2011, in the Shenzhen Daily.
The information was accurate at that time, and may be outdated now. Use with caution.

The plaza and tree in front of Huaguang Temple, Nanshan
At the southeast corner of Nanxin and Xuefu Roads in central Nanashan, there's a lovely little plaza with a large old tree, standing just in front of a temple dedicated to Huaguang (华光), who, among other things, is considered the patron of Cantonese opera.

He is also a protector against fire and demons, and the patron of goldsmiths, silversmiths, scaffolding workers, and makers and sellers of incense and paper grave goods. A busy god!

Huaguang and his attendants
Often mistaken for another god, Er Lang, he is generally identified by the pyramid-shaped block of gold in his left hand. Like Er Lang, he sports a "third eye" in the middle of his forehead; additionally, Er Lang has a dog, and Hua Guang does not.

Jinhua Niangniang, "Lady Golden Flower"
In addition to this figure, the temple features several other popular gods, including Tu Di (the "Earth God"), Cai Shen (God of Wealth), and four attendants to Huaguang. There is also a fine statue of Jinhua Niangniang (called "Kam Fa" in Cantonese); she is the patron of expectant and new mothers, and also brings fertility to those who need it.

The afore-mentioned tree is noteworthy for the incense sticks placed under it, a rare but not unheard-of practice in modern Shenzhen, harking back to the time when ancient trees were venerated for their power.

The "Old Well" next to Huaguang Temple, Nanshan
And don't miss the sidewalk area on the north side of the temple; there is an "old well" right in the middle of the sidewalk, which, along with the tree, attests to the age of the site, even though the temple building itself is quite new and shiny.

GPS Info:
  • 22.528057, 113.918639


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