Worship

The shrine is open daily, from 10am to 10pm, for public worship. Ceremonial dance is performed several times each day by dedicated professionals from Thailand.

Visitors who are unfamiliar with the worship ritual may ask the shrine attendants for guidance.

Opening hours and ceremonies may be disrupted by bad weather. In the event of a typhoon or rain signal, please refer to the adverse weather arrangements.

SHRINE ETIQUETTE

The shrine is a place of reverence so visitors are asked to dress with propriety. Skimpy clothes are not appropriate. The colours black, blue, green and purple are considered inauspicious for wear at ceremonies or special worship days, such as the shrine anniversary.

Please remain quiet and mindful of other worshippers, and put mobile phones on silent. Do not step inside the pavilion where Lord Brahma sits, nor touch the deity, religious artefacts or offerings already presented.

Smoking, eating, drinking and animals (except guide dogs) are not allowed. Photographs may be taken as personal keepsakes, but visitors with cameras or mobile phones are asked to use them discreetly and respect the privacy of worshippers.

Please visit our Shrine Rules for a complete list of shrine etiquette.

HOW TO PRAY

Worshippers pray at each of four small altars located beside Lord Brahma’s Four Faces.

01Begin at the front of the shrine, just inside the gate.

02As you approach the altar, place your palms together in a gesture of prayer, holding your hands up at chin level.

03Kneel (or stand), and bow your head and shoulders three times in silent prayer or while making a wish. It is customary to close your eyes while praying.

04Repeat at the other three altars, proceeding in a clockwise direction.

PRAYING WITH INCENSE

The lighting and offering of incense to Lord Brahma is the most common form of devotion.

01You will need four large joss sticks or 12 slender incense sticks, one (or three) to be offered at each of the four altars.

02Clasp all four (or 12) lighted incense sticks together in overlapping hands and hold them upright in front of your upper chest as you approach each altar.

03Kneel (or stand), bow three times in prayer with the glowing incense in hand; then stand up and plant one (or three) joss sticks into the ash within the urn on the altar.

04Move clockwise to the next altar and repeat, until you have prayed at all four altars and have planted all your joss sticks.

TAKE CARE to hold burning joss sticks upright at all times, and avoid the lighted ends coming into contact with your skin, clothes or fellow worshippers.

PLACING GARLANDS

Garlands of marigolds are given as offerings to the deity, hung on railings around the pavilion, or hooked over the trunks and tusks of the elephant statues. Smaller garlands of white jasmine flowers are also popular offerings. Kindly note that the public is not allowed to place garlands inside the pavilion or on the deity.

OTHER OFFERINGS

Fresh flowers, fruit, particularly oranges and apples, duck eggs, water and a coconut are displayed on each of the four altars to honour the deity. Tiny, ornate Thai figures, animals and other miniatures are favourites of Lord Brahma and are placed as decoration on the rims of his pedestal.

DANCE

Thai ceremonial dance brings a sense of grace to daily worship. Dressed in colourful silk robes topped with golden headgear, lithe dancers sway to the sounds of traditional music. The troupe of professional artistes hails from Thailand, where they trained in this precise and highly specialised ritual movement.

MUSIC

Gentle rhythms of the ranat ek (xylophone) and taphon (drum) waft on the breeze at the Hong Kong Brahma Shrine. Accompanying the dancers, skilled Thai musicians play with solemn dedication, setting the mood as worshippers murmur their prayers.