Wong Tai Sin Temple is one of the most famous shrines in Hong Kong. Every Chinese New Year, thousands rush towards the temple to burn incense and pray.

This year, the Wong Tai Sin Temple has gone for a revolutionary technological upgrade.

The 90-year-old temple has added a new underground prayer room decked with gold, marble, LED lights and motion detectors. It features a vaulted echo-enhancing ceiling emblazoned with a planetarium-like digital replica of the Hong Kong sky that rotates in accordance with the seasons. Two HK$3 million floor-to-ceiling wall hangings, made of marble and rare gemstones, adorn the entranceway. Worshippers enter the hall and deposit a written prayer before one of 60 statues representing the gods of the Chinese zodiac, which responds with flashing lights and bursts of smoke.

This 10,000-square-feet chamber costed HK$100 million (US$13 million) and took 3 years to complete.

The modernization of the 2,500-year-old religion has inspired both awe and disapproval. Further adding to the controversy is the new prayer hall’s entrance fee (HK$100; HK$50 for seniors), which makes Wong Tai Sin the first prayer facility in Hong Kong to charge admittance. A prayer offering at the temple’s automated statues costs an extra HK$300. Sik Sik Yuen, the Taoist nonprofit organization that runs Wong Tai Sin, says the fees are required for the maintenance of the new hall.

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At 26.4 miles long, the Qingdao Haiwan Bridge would easily cross the English Channel and is almost three miles longer than the previous record-holder, the Lake Pontchartrain Causeway in the American state of Louisiana.
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Recently, an 18th century Chinese porcelain vase stunned the world by setting the highest price ever for Chinese art sold.

The vase, which was discovered when a house was cleared out was sold for £43 million ($69.3 million) at Bainbridges Auctions (£53.1m after commission which pushes the total to over $85 million). The vase was only estimated to sell for £1.2 million but fierce bidding among Chinese would-be buyers drove up the price. The vase sold to a Chinese bidder who turned up to bid on behalf of an undisclosed buyer.

There is speculation that the delicate vase with the fish motif would have spent time in the Chinese Royal Palace and was likely fired in the Imperial kilns. One of the things that makes this vase so extraordinary is that it has a reticulated double walled construction. There is an inner vase that can be viewed through the perforations of the main body. It is of the Qianlong period, circa 1740s and decorated with four cartouches each showcasing different styles of fish at play on stylized water backgrounds. It has a delicately painted yellow trumpet neck and vase set off from the central decoration by orange bands.

via Luxist

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