The Lo Pan temple is a well-restored Grade I Historical Building in Kennedy Town on the western end of Hong Kong Island. It is the only temple in Hong Kong dedicated to the worship of Lo Pan, the patron saint of Chinese builders and carpenters.
Also known as Lu Ban who lived during the Spring and Autumn Period (771–476 BC), Lo Pan was a well-venerated carpenter, engineer, philosopher, inventor, military thinker and statesman. According to folk legend, there was a huge flock of cranes spiralling above his home and a special fragrance filled his room when Lo Pan was born. These mysterious occurences made many believe that Lo Pan was conceived as a celestial being.
During his birthday, which falls on the 13th of the sixth month of the Lunar Calendar, carpenters and other practitioners of construction flock to the Lo Pan Temple to pay homage to their patron saint and pray for his blessings. The temple, a two-hall structure richly decorated with murals as well as Shiwan ceramic figurines and clay moldings, are packed with people during these festivities. Aside from religious rituals, an awarding ceremony is hosted by the Labour and Welfare Bureau during the festival to honor builders with outstanding performance to encourage the improvement of skills within the construction industry.
Apart from Lo Pan whose statue is seated in the main hall, other deities are worshiped in the temple. To the left of Lo Pan is the Deity of Wealth and to the right is the Deity of Matrimony. The Deity of Earth is seated to the right of the door of the first hall.
Other architectural features of the temple include the glazed tile roof supported by the “Five Famous Mountains Paying Tribute to Heaven” gable walls, which are very distinctive amongst local Chinese traditional architecture. On the two sides of the main door are engravings of Chinese poems that praise Lo Pan’s contribution to architecture.
There are numerous relieves and paintings inside and outside of the structure, making it the temple with the most number of wall-paintings in Hong Kong Island. The wall paintings depict a variety of scenes including people, insects, animals, flowers and landscapes. Different styles of calligraphy are incorporated into the wall-paintings to serve as captions.
Lo Pan Temple is located at 15 Ching Lin Terrace, Li Po Lung Path, Belcher's Street in Kennedy Town, Hong Kong Island. It is open from 9:30am to 5pm daily and can be reached by taking MTR to Admiralty Station Exit F, take Bus 23 outside Pacific Place. Alight at Pokfulam Road (after passing the Belcher's) and walk around 10 minutes to Ching Lin Terrace.