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Nine Emperor Gods Festival at Nan Thien Kwang Temple

This is the time again for the yearly celebration of the nine emperor gods festival. The nine emperor gods festival starts on the last day (28th or 29th) of the eight Chinese lunar month. It will then come to an end on the ninth day of the ninth lunar month. During the period of this festival, many prayers and religious rituals will be performed in accordance to the spirit and customs of this celebration.

The grand entrance to the Nan Thien Kwang (Nan Tian Gong) Temple in Ampang.

The main entrance to the Nan Thien Kwang (Nan Tian Gong) Temple in Ampang, Kuala Lumpur.

The entrance that lead to the temple and the perimeters sorrounding the temple are lined with hawkers, peddlers, fortune tellers, incense stalls and other petty traders.

The entrance that lead to the temple and the perimeters surrounding the temple are lined with hawkers, peddlers, fortune tellers, incense stalls and other petty traders.

Prayers are usually conducted with joss sticks of various sizes and no sooner than you stick them into the urn, they will be romoved in an instance to make room for others. It's the symbolic gesture that counts and not how long your joss sticks stay in the urn for 'incubation of wishes'.

Prayers are usually performed with incense or joss sticks of various sizes and no sooner than you stick them into the urn, they will be removed in an instance to make room for others. It's the symbolic gesture that counts and the length of time they stays in the incense urn are immaterial for the 'incubation of wishes' to complete.

Worshipers perform prayers, including provide offerings to the gods and request for fortune with a random toss of fontune sticks in the Nan Thien Kwang temple.

Worshipers perform prayers, including provide offerings to the gods in the temple. One can also request for a fortune reading with a rigorously shake of a cylindrical container, containing a loose bundled of numbered bamboo fortune sticks.

Oil-lamps are suspended from a free-swinging bamboo stalk tied perpendicularly to a very tall lantern pole during the duration of the festival. The oil-lamps will be lowered on the 10th day to marked the end of the celebration.

Close-up view of the hanging oil-lamps. The fact that there are nine of them might reflect the symbolic representation of the "nine venerable sovereigns" or the nine be-headed scholars/musicians who were canonized as the nine emperor gods or the releasing of nine severed heads in an earthenware vase that was found floating off the coast of Songkhla, Thailand. Myths might be vague in storyline but its what the devotees themselves believed that counts.

Worshipers could opt to contribute a circular spiral incense in return for a blessed year ahead.

Scores of circular spiral incense are hanged and stacked like a Christmas wishing tree. Amid the dust and smoke, these slow burning stacked of incense represented the hopes and wishes of the worshipers and their family.

Worshipers could choose from a selection of pre-printed wishes that best signify their intended requests from the gods. The most common requests are peace, health, longevity and prosperity. One just need to add their family names and then hope and pray for the best. Each circular spiral incense cost only RM10 and once you have selected=

Worshipers could choose from a selection of pre-printed wishes that best signify their intended requests from the gods. The most common requests are peace, health, longevity and prosperity. One just need to add their family names and then hope and pray for the best. Each circular spiral incense cost only RM10 and once you have selected your request, the whole setup will be hanged and stacked nicely at a dedicated area of the temple. It a small price to pay for the potential realization of your wishes.

For larger or more elaborate wishes, use the more elaborate and XL-sized incense. They take days to burn completely.

For a more elaborate celebration, one can always use the XL-sized incense. They take many hours to burn off completely.

2 lions paying homage to the gods at the entrance of the temple.

2 lions paying homage to the gods at the main door of the temple. These are part of the rituals that all the lion and dragon troupes have to go through before the start of the nine emperor gods' parade at a specific time approved by the nine emperor gods.

When dragons meet and say Hello!

When dragons meet and say Hello!

Nine emperor gods' parade participants getting ready for the push forward.

Nine emperor gods' parade participants getting ready for the push forward.

The band is getting ready to play the drum, cymbals and gongs.

The lion dance's band is getting ready to play the drums and cymbals.

The dragon is raring to go!

The indomitable dragon is raring to go!

The dragon slithering through the Ampang town and dispense it's luck to the residents and businesses.

The dragon slithering through the Ampang township and dispensing its luck to the residents and businesses.

One of the 'possessed deity' blessing the children and dispensing candies to them.

One of the "possessed deity" blessing the children and dispensing candies to them.

Even casket business needs blessing by deities. Scary thoughts.

Even casket business needs blessing by the deities. Scary thoughts!

A "baby deity" arriving at the temple with a sword in hand. He went on to "self-immolate" by swinging the sword on himself.

A "baby deity" with pacifier-in-mouth arriving on temple ground armed with a sword and metal rings. He went on to self-immolate by swinging the sword on himself.

While being possessed by the deity, the man seems to be invincible from the swinging sword on himself.

While being possessed by the deity, the man seems to be invincible from his own swinging sword.

Trance dances and trance rituals are also performed by the spirit mediums during the festival.

Trance dances and trance rituals are also performed by the spirit mediums during the festival.

The arrival of the spirit in a swinging sedan chair.

The arrival of the spirit in a swinging sedan chair or palanquins.

Finally the last of the deity arrived with a large floating lantern. It must be quite significant or important as he is surrounded by so many devotees.

Finally the last of the deity arrived with a large floating lantern. It must be quite significant or important as he is surrounded by so many devotees.

The actual nine emperor gods celebration begins with the staging of the Chinese Opera or Amoy Opera on the first day of the ninth moon.

The actual nine emperor gods celebration begins with the staging of the Chinese Opera or Amoy Opera on the first day of the ninth moon.

Traditional gaudy make-up is part & parcel of the daily rituals for these Opera performers.

Traditional gaudy make-up is part & parcel of the daily rituals for these Opera performers. I guess the immortals do have their own standard for cosmetics senses.

The Chinese Opera usually feature very elobrate headgears and costumes.

The Chinese Opera usually features very elaborate head-gears and costumes.

Although the Chinese Operas are staged for the immortals, they do depict the daily life stories of the mortals.

Although the Chinese Operas are staged for the immortals, they do depict the daily life stories of the mortals.

Although the Chinese Operas are staged for the immortals, they do depict the daily life stories of the mortals.

"I am going to teach you a good lesson!" says the righteous one.

Comments

  1. Nice photos! Thanks!

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