A symbol of tradition in the bustling city
Hong Kong offers many an anecdote to the traveller – be it shopping, food or interesting traditions. An interesting landmark that you might come across is Lovers’ Rock. Located in the heart of the city, visitors on the Bowen’s Road fitness trail – which lies across many a popular Wan Chai hotel – would come across this monument on their daily run; a phallic rock that is revered by the locals.
Within easy reach from Dorsett Wanchai, Hong Kong hides this testimony to modern day belief in ancient customs. Locally known as Yan Yuek Sen, this is frequented by women and young brides with relationship and fertility problems. Draped with prayer papers and worshipped by the young, the women pray for eligible husbands and male heirs at the Lovers’ rock. The busiest time for this is during Maiden’s Festival in mid-August. Women gather here in numbers, some to pray for a boon, some to offer gratitude for providing them with a boon and others to appreciate and acknowledge the strength of the roots of superstition that are present in the modern day Hong Kong.
Standing at a height of 9m, the area of Lovers Rock affords a beautiful view of the Victoria harbour. Among the people flocking here with offerings of oranges, suckling pig and chicken, some others are found with a camera, striving capture a perfect shot. Around the base of the structure are soothsayers, who consult their “Book of Fortune” to determine if the partner chosen by/for a young maiden is a suitable match or not. Of course, this comes at a price, for the soothsayers charge for every transaction that takes place.
One might not expect to find such a structure and such a following for an age-old custom or a superstitious tradition in the modern Hong Kong. And yet, all these doubts are put to rest by one visit to Lovers Rock, for it is still venerated throughout generations and is likely to be in generations to come.
Auburn Silver is a travel writer who has a passion for fashion and a deep interest in admiring new and exotic attractions around the world.