Tuesday, November 12, 2013

The Tin How Temple

                     The Chinatown walk in San Francisco was absolutely amazing. Our tour guide, Rick Evans, knew so much about the history of Chinatown and was able to teach us Sac High students. On this trip I learned why the Chinese moved to San Francisco, who the mafia of China was, and much more. The tour of Chinatown was an experience that I will never forget.
            Even though we visited many places in Chinatown, one place really stood out the most to me. When visiting the Tin How Temple the colors, the aroma, and the decorations really caught my eye. The room was mostly the colors gold and red. All the gold and red made the room pop. Not only did the room pop, it also smelled really good. This is because when you go to the temple you are supposed to grab a handful of incense, burn them using the fire from one of the altars, and place three in front of each altar. Placing incense in front of the altars shows your presence. When I first walked into the temple the smell reminded me of my grandmother’s house. My grandmother always burns incense and her house always smells great. The decorations of the temple also stood out to me. Many lanterns hung from the ceiling, oranges were placed around the altars, and there were pieces of paper and crowns. Everything just came together so well and I loved it.
Photo Credit: Google Images

            I found the different activities that take place in the temple to be very interesting. People burn paper, pay for a chance to make one of their wishes come true, use sticks to determine their fate, and much more. These activities sounded strange to me at first but once I learned what they were for I understood. For example burning paper sounds like a strange thing to do but it is very interesting. This activity is for giving gifts to those who passed away. Many stores sell objects such as clothes, watches, and more that are made for this while the temple gives out fortune paper and a crown. The fortune paper and crown is to give good luck to the person who passed away. Stores also sell paper objects such as money. The money is burned to give to the devil to stay away from the person who has passed. Learning that stores even sell credit cards made out of paper was funny to me. Other than the money there are more things that can be given to the person who passed. These things included clothes, technology, and more. I found this to be a great idea. Even though someone is in their after life they may still want to look nice and have the latest technology. This gives them the opportunity. I thought this was very interesting and unique.
            I learned so much from the tour of Chinatown. This was an amazing experience that I will carry with me. I would like to thank Mr. Evans, Mrs. Everett, and Ms. Mills for this trip. I am definitely going to go back when I get the chance.



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