Showing posts with label 9emperorgods+9emperorgodsfestivalcountdown. Show all posts
Showing posts with label 9emperorgods+9emperorgodsfestivalcountdown. Show all posts

Friday, September 27, 2019

Same same but Different - the Nine Emperor Gods Festival

If you ask me which temple is better to see or shoot Nine Emperor Gods Festival, my reply would be... they are all 'same same but different'. And if you ask me if what has changed over the years that I have followed this festival, my answer would still be... 'same same but different'.

In my opinion, this popular South-east Asian phrase 'Same same but different' very aptly describes this festival.... and here is why I feel it is so:

  • Same same rites and rituals but there are (minor) differences...
  • Same same schedule of event every year, with minor tweaks and additions or omissions...
  • Same same people participate every year, except they are one year older...
  • Same same deity but the invitation timing is different...
  • Same same concept of invitation (from a body of water) but locations are different (river, sea, etc)
  • Same same God that they pray to but rules of who can participate in the festival and/or fire walking is different from temple to temple
  • Same same kind of vegetarian food, but prices are way way different.
  • Same same shots taken... but many different stories can be told from the shots of the festival...

So my advice is... go and enjoy this 'Same same but different' festival and don't fret it if you miss something this year... there is always next year... as it will be... 'Same same but different'



So my countdown to Nine Emperor Gods Festival 2019 posts comes to a close today with this post as tomorrow (28th Sept 2019) will be the eve of this festival... Remember that some temples will carry out the invitation ceremony tomorrow in the evening whilst some do it much closer to midnight... same same but different ya!


Thursday, September 26, 2019

Almost time for.... Nine Emperor Gods Festival 2019


Just a few more days to the start of Nine Emperor Gods Festival 2019. So here is a survival checklist to help you gauge if you are ready for the festival.
  1. White clothes, pants and head cover.
  2. Vegetarian foodstuff - think of tofu and mock meat, fermented bean paste to seaweed
  3. Camera and accessories
  4. White candles, red tortoise buns and yellow talismans
  5. Stamina
  6. and even more stamina to last the nine days 

For those who are looking for Ampang Nine Emperor Gods 2019 schedule of events, please visit Cheryl's post for the schedule of events and more info (link below):



Wednesday, September 25, 2019

Counting down to Nine Emperor Gods Festival 2019

4 more days to Nine Emperor Gods Festival 2019....well, 3 more days to the eve of the festival. Many who participate in this festival would most likely be starting their bland vegetarian diet today so as to be 'clean' during the invitation on the eve of the festival. Many temples that celebrate this festival would also already be bustling with the preparations for this annual festival.


Tuesday, September 24, 2019

Let the spirits descend - the Nine Emperor Gods Festival 2019


The Nine Emperor Gods festival, which is starting is 5 days time, is associated with spirit mediums and trances of various deities including those of the Nine Emperor Gods. With these trances, acts of self mortification such as blood letting and body piercing are signs that the divine has taken over the body of the medium and that he or she does not feel any pain. Furthermore the blood letting is also both a sacrifice and purification of the space and surroundings, and thus is often carried out with great spiritual fervor. So let the spirits descend....


When (does it start): 29th Sept 2019 to 7th October 2019 (the eve falls on 28th Sept)

Where (can I see this festival): Nine Emperor Gods temples in South East Asia

What (to do): Eat vegetarian, see mediums perform rituals, watch parades, fire walking etc.

For those who are looking for the schedule of events at Ampang Nine Emperor Gods Festival, surf over to Cheryl's post in her site - Haze Move over! Dates for the 2019 Festival (Ampang Style) for the schedule and lots more info regarding the festival.

Monday, September 23, 2019

Ready to sek zhai (吃斋/gin je)? The Nine Emperor Gods Festival 2019

The Nine Emperor Gods Festival is coming, hence the question of being ready to eat vegetarian (chi zhai/sek zhai/吃斋). This festival which is celebrated in South-East Asia is synonymous with a bland vegetarian diet and in Southern Thailand, Gin je (กินเจ) or literally ‘eat vegetarian’ is synonymous with the festival.


Whilst most people associate the festival with the first nine days of the ninth lunisolar month, the festival actually takes off on the eve on the ninth month (last day of the eight lunisolar month) and concludes on the 10th day of the ninth month. Some who participate in this event would have had started their vegetarian diet a few days before the festival, so as to be ‘clean’ when inviting the deity which happens on the eve of the festival or in the wee hours of the first day of the festival.

Conversely, after nine days of festivities, the flag pole and the armies of heavenly guardians called to protect the temple and devotees during the festival would be sent off on the tenth day of the festival, one day after the last day of the Nine Emperor Gods festival.

This year the first day of the festival falls on 29 September 2019 and the ninth day falls on the 7 October 2019. The most obvious signs that a temple is celebrating the festival are temple flags being erected on roads leading to the temple grounds as well as vegetarian food stalls being erected. These stalls that sell suitable bland vegetarian food are usually marked with yellow banners displaying the word zhai/斋 or su/素; or in Southern Thailand, je/เจ.


When (does it start): 29th Sept 2019 to 7th October 2019 (the eve falls on 28th Sept)

Where (can I see this festival): Nine Emperor Gods temples in South East Asia

What (to do): Eat vegetarian, see mediums perform rituals, watch parades, fire walking etc.

Tuesday, October 09, 2018

Welcoming the Nine Emperor Gods @ Ampang

Despite the heavy downpour, the invitation of the Nine Emperor Gods at Ampang Nan Tian Gong temple goes on as usual. The rain did not dampen the spirit and devotion of the devotees, who pushed on to invite the Nine Emperor Gods from the river back to the temple.

Going out to get the Nine Emperor Gods....

The Nine Emperor Gods, being represented by an urn held out of public sight under the royal yellow canopy, was escorted back to the temple with pomp and glory by an entourage of soaking wet and tired mediums, priest and devotees that arrived back at the temple around 9.30pm.

Here come the Nine Emperor Gods... escorting the urn back into the temple.



Monday, October 08, 2018

The Festival begins at Ampang Nine Emperor Gods Temple

And so it begins, the start of the nine day vegetarian festival at Ampang Nan Tian Gong, with the raising of the lantern pole at midday today (8th Oct 2018). As per tradition, this temple will go out to 'invite' the Nine Emperor Gods from a nearby river later in the evening (7.30pm). Noticeably the temple grounds is filled predominantly with two very significant colours that are associate with this festival, yellow and white.


Yellow is of course the colour of royalty in the East, and hence things associated the Nine Emperor Gods or divinity during this festival would be clad in yellow. The other colour is white, being a symbol of purity (the strict vegetarian diet) or mourning (associated with certain stories of how the festival arose) and hence devout devotees/followers would wear all white including covering the head with a white scarf for the duration of the festival.





Sunday, October 07, 2018

Time for Nine Emperor Gods Festival 2018


Yup, it is that time of the year again... the Nine Emperor Gods Festival is starting on the 9th until the 17th of October 2018. Of course the invitation of the Nine Emperor Gods happens on the eve of the festival, which falls on the 8th of October this year. At the Ampang Nine Emperor Gods temple (安邦南天宫九皇爷庙), preparations for the festival has been happening since two weeks ago. So do pop in and join in the festivities if you are nearby.

Thursday, October 06, 2016

The Heat Is On - Nine Emperor Gods Festival at Jinjang

Runing through the flames
Huat (發) ahhhh.... or is it Hot ahhhhh!!!!



Live view of the piercing action....


The Nine Emperor Gods Temple in Jinjang, Kuala Lumpur holds nightly events throughout the Nine Emperor Gods Festival. The temple can be located by typing in your navigator the name Pak Thian Kiong Temple, so it is easy to find.

Ampang Nine Emperor Gods Festival - What We Love and Hate About The Festival No.3

Q: What do we love-hate about the festival?
A: The offerings... on one side, they are so cute, colourful and at times taking up whatever empty space that there is in the temple. On the flip side... looks messy and seems like a huge waste of paper, food etc.
The floor filled with offering buns, joss-paper, rice and fruits at Ampang Nine Emperor Gods.




Wednesday, October 05, 2016

Ampang Nine Emperor Gods Festival - What We Love and Hate About The Festival No.2

Q:What do we love-hate about the festival?
A:STINKY TOFU!!!! For every 10 people that love this stinky tofu, another 10 hate it to their guts. Almost at the same level with durians.
Stinky tofu sign along the street leading to the Ampang Nine Emperor Gods Temple.



Tuesday, October 04, 2016

Ampang Nine Emperor Gods Festival - What We Love and Hate About The Festival No.1

This is the next three of the series; the love-hate relationship in the festival. There are some things that we love, and hate as well about this festival in Ampang, and in no particular order, here is No. 1

Q: What do we love-hate about the festival?
A: Smoke! Incense smoke. We love it cause it is so pretty to shoot, so ephemeral and temporary. It gives the atmosphere that we associate with the festival and brings about a sense of the divine being near.

Q: Why you hate it then?
A: Cough cough and teary eyes. Stay too long and you might get chemical conjunctivitis or breathing difficulties. Plus all your clothes will have that horrible scorched smell. And the grossest part is.... try looking at your booger after being in the smoke for a while.
It is a smoky affair during the Nine Emperor Gods Festival at Ampang.

Monday, October 03, 2016

Ampang Nine Emperor Gods Festival - What We Love About The Festival No. 3

Q: What do we love about Ampang Nine Emperor Gods Festival?
A: Friendly faces everywhere! 

Everywhere you turn, there is a friendly, familiar face that
greets you

Sunday, October 02, 2016

Ampang Nine Emperor Gods Festival - What We Love About The Festival No. 2

Q: What do we love about Ampang Nine Emperor Gods Festival?
A: The lions! Who doesn't love to touch, feel, errr molest the lions during a lion dance performance. And at the festival, no one, young or old, can resist the cute, playful lions prancing through the temple during one of the procession days.

A 'Michelangelo Creation of Adam' moment by the kid and the lady as the lions passes by.


Saturday, October 01, 2016

Ampang Nine Emperor Gods Festival - The 'What' Series: What Do We Love About The Festival No. 1

So the Nine Emperor Gods Festival had begun, and to kick it off, I will start a 'What Series' with What We Love About the Festival Q & A. So here is the first installation of the series:

Q: What do we love about Ampang Nine Emperor Gods Festival?
A: Yellow strips of cloth and talismans!!! Who doesn't notice the bright (and rather gaudy) yellow strips that goes with the talismans that is given out when you give a donation that is almost synonymous with the festival. You tie them around your wrist, or on your bag and even in your car. Plus you get a bunch of talismans that looks almost like calligraphic art pieces.
Stacks of yellow cloth strips and talismans waiting to be given away to devotees - for a token sum, of course!

 

The Royal Invitation - Ampang Nine Emperor Gods Festival 2016

Off in a hurry to fetch the Emperor!
The eve of the Nine Emperor Gods Festival sees devotees from Ampang Nine Emperor Gods Temple off to invite the Nine Emperor Gods from their 'secret' location. This age old tradition sees devotees in white, priests, mediums in trance, lion and dragon dance troupes, palanquins carried by men and decorated motorised floats go down the old Ampang town on the way out to the invitation site.


Dragons whizzing through the temple.
Off we go to fetch the Nine Emperor Gods

The Nine Emperor Lamps were consecrated with fire before being raised up to indicate the Nine Emperor Gods Festival is ongoing here.


Friday, September 30, 2016

Ampang Nine Emperor Gods Festival 2016 begins...

The power of talisman... Ampang Nine Emperor Gods Temple lantern pole.


The pole is up, and the festivities begins at Ampang Nine Emperor Gods Temple.



Waiting for the Emperor's Return - Nine Emperor Gods Festival 2016

Today is the day we wait for the Emperor's Return...

The now empty passageways and prayer halls will soon fill with devotees seeking the blessings of the Nine Emperor Gods.


Thursday, September 29, 2016

Nine Emperor Gods Festival Countdown - 1 More Day

Q: I went to one of those Nine Emperor Gods temple and OMG I saw what looked like shrunken heads on sticks being worshiped at an altar. Like are they some headhunter shrunken head worshiping cult???
A: LOL, those are not shrunken heads, even though they look like it. Those heads on sticks represent the Five Directional Generals that guard the space/temple. They are found in Taoist/Shennist temples and is part and parcel of the many rituals that go on in these places.

1 MORE DAY


Tomorrow (Friday 30 Sept 2016) is the eve of the Nine Emperor Gods Festival for 2016. In many temple that celebrate the festival, tomorrow will be the day that they raise the pole for the 9 lanterns that represents the Nine Emperor Gods presence on Earth. So this is the last of the countdown series for Nine Emperor Gods Festival 2016.

This post is a tribute to Cheryl J Hoffmann,who had inspired me to take photographing Nine Emperor Gods Festival to the next level. And on that note, if you need info on the schedule for the Nine Emperor Gods Festival at Ampang, do check out her site, and be inspired by her photos and stories of this festival:


Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Nine Emperor Gods Festival Countdown - 2 More Days

Q: I see a lot of yellow lanterns being used, as well as items coloured yellow. I thought Chinese love red stuff?
A: Whilst red is an auspicious colour, yellow is the colour of the Emperor, a royal colour so to speak. Hence the use of yellow for everything Nine Emperor Gods.

Q: OMG, why do they have such bizarre piercings? I mean things like bicycles, ceiling fans and samurai swords???
A: Ahhh, you must have seen those Thai spirit mediums. They do the piercings with such bravado and theatrics that makes Thai Nine Emperor Gods Festival (particularly Phuket) attracts so many people who come to see the spectacle with their own eyes. Some temples over here do invite them over, and towards the northern parts of Peninsular Malaysia, they are more common, the bizarre piercings and body cutting.

2 MORE DAYS