Traditional temple

Worshipers at the Waterloo Street temple line up in the rain as “Angbao Borrowing” returns on February 16

Kwan Im Thong Hood Cho Temple on Waterloo Street sees long queues on February 16

Since the pandemic hit, many religious and cultural events have had to be suspended, such as the 开库借红包 or anbao borrowing activity at Kwan Im Thong Hood Cho Temple.

This year the temple has brought the event back after a long hiatus of 2 years.

And if the long lines outside the temple were any indication, the tradition was sorely missed.

In the early hours of Wednesday, February 16, more than 200 devotees reportedly lined up before the temple doors opened.

The queue situation at 7:20 a.m.
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As rain fell later in the day, worshipers continued to line up, undeterred.

Long queues at Waterloo Street Temple in the rain

After the cancellation of the “angbao loan” for 2 years, the Kwan Im Thong Hood Cho Temple announced earlier that it will hold the event this year.

The activity usually takes place on the 26th day of the Lunar New Year. This year, the temple opened the activity to visitors yesterday (February 16).

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According to Lianhe Zaobaothere were already about fifty people queuing in front of the temple at 6am.

By the time the temple opened at 7 a.m., there were snaking queues with more than 200 worshipers in line. 10 minutes after visitors started entering the temple, it started raining cats and dogs.

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But the faithful are not discouraged. Many came armed with umbrellas and stood unfazed as they awaited their chance to pray to the Goddess of Mercy.

Seeking Blessings on Angbao Borrowing Day

According to tradition, Angbao Borrowing Day, also known as Treasury Opening Day, is when devotees can symbolically “borrow money” from the Goddess of Mercy in asking for a anbao at the temple.

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This act signifies seeking the blessings of the goddess.

Those whose wishes have been granted after asking for a anbao would then return to the temple the following year to return the anbao.

Stay safe when you go to see Quan Yin Ma

Given the popularity of the “angbao loan”, it is no wonder that many are preparing for the elements for the chance to seek the blessings of Guan Yin Ma.

Remember to stay safe and maintain good personal hygiene during this time.

And to the devotees who ask for auspicious red envelopes at the temple, we hope your dreams and aspirations come true.

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Featured image adapted from Facebook and Lianhe Zaobao.