'First incense offering' at Wong Tai Sin Temple returns after two-year hiatus

The traditional first incense offering that takes place in Wong Tai Sin Temple on Lunar New Year's Eve will finally return this year following a two-year hiatus.

The traditional activity sees worshipers rushing to place incense in front of Wong Tai Sin, bringing them good luck for the year ahead. People usually stand shoulder to shoulder as they race to the front of the main altar to offer their first incense sticks.

The temple will open overnight from 9pm on January 21 - the Lunar New Year’s Eve - until 9pm the next day.

Crowd control measures will be in place. Those unable to visit the temple in person can watch the live stream on that day.

Meanwhile, this year’s first incense offering will be slightly different without prominent actress Lana Wong Wai-lin, better known as Lana Wong Ha-wai, who used to join the event at Wong Tai Sin Temple every year while dressed in a costume representing the zodiac animal of the coming New Year.

The actress left the city for good in August last year.

“Things and people change a lot in the space of 10 years...despite the hard times, I have enjoyed every moment with Hong Kong citizens along the way!

“Although I am not sure if we will ever meet again in Hong Kong, I will miss every single one of you, no matter which part of the world I am in!” Wong said in a Facebook post before her departure last year.