Monday, March 12, 2007

Yu Huang San Tai Zi visits

(11Mar07) This evening, crossing the PingAn (Bridge of Peace) was a little different. As the Taoist Priests prepare the PingAn Bridge for the crossing, Yu Huang San Tai Zi arrived, for the first time in this sintua.

When he arrived, he joined the Taoist Priest in leading the temple devotees in crossing the Bridge of Peace, leading a group born under each Chinese Lunar Year Animal at a time, starting with the Rat, then, Ox, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Goat, Monkey, Cockeral, Dog and finally the Pig. And then, all of the devotees formed a line again to walk around the temple tentage and crossed the bridge again.

Balloons were given to the children as part of the fun for them. And after crossing the bridge, the kids were looking towards sweets, which they knew from previous years. Ah, this time, it was different. Yu Huang San Tai Zi asked that each child should write a word, and checked, before he or she could get a lollipop. It was too strong a motivation for the kids to turn down, and so, no matter how small, each kid tried to write or draw. It was indeed surprising to see most of the kids writing at least one Chinese character. Ah, maybe, the teachers can take a leaf out of this in teaching the kids Chinese. (^^)

The fun was not over yet. For the adults, Yu Huang San Tai Zi was going to give them quizzes. He started out writing a Chinese character and asked if anyone could add to come up with something meaningful. It could be a character or a picture. Those who are wrong will be "huat" (fa) (meaning penalise), which interestingly sounds the same as "huat"(fa) as in prosperity. And of course, there are paper bags of "Huat Kueh" - the traditional Chinese cake that symbolises prosperity - "huat" (fa). Which means if one answers wrongly, he or she gets the "huat kueh" but if he or she is correct, he or she gets a lollipop.

It was an evening of mental stimulations as the devotees tried to guess. A word "Tian" (as in rice field) was drawn by a devotee into a goat and another into a tortoise.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Grand Dinner

Tonight is the traditional Grand Dinner night where devotees and friends gathered to enjoy a sumptious 8-course dinner and help raise funds for the temple as well as for charity. There must have been a hundred tables of diners tonight. One of the charity events tonight was the presentation of S$1000 as aid to the recent earthquake victims in Indonesia.

As they enjoyed the dinner, which included loh-hei too, the temple auctioneers took turn to offer items, many of which were also sponsored by devotees, to the diners. Auspicious figures started spewing out from all corners of the dining tentage .. $138, $188, $328 ... and the figures kept climbing. Some higher than others.

The highlight of the auction must be the golden pig which, the auctioneer invited the Guest of Honour to write his name on the pig.

The Guest of Honour was also given a tour of the temple tentage, being introduced to the Deities of the Temple.

Friday, March 9, 2007

Er Ye Bo and Bao Beh Ya visit

This evening, at about 8pm, Er Ye Bo (Li Ya Pek) arrived to give blessings to the devotees of the temple. After making his round of the tentage, paying respects to the respective Deities, he left. And in his place, Hu Bao Beh Ya arrived.

As is the tradition of Jin Dong Fu, this year, Bao Beh Ya conducted the blessings and cleansing of the devotees. Devotees followed him through the tentage to the GeTai stage, where he offered blessings to the public who would contribute towards a charity fund. In return, they also got two oranges and a packet of rice in a very delightful packaging.

Back at the tentage, Bao Beh Ya, always smiling, led the devotees around the tentage and crossing the bridge. They even crossed over two stoves of burning charcoal, as part of the cleansing. As another part of the blessing, Bao Beh Ya used his brush to write the character "Hu" on each devotee's right palm. And then, the devotees were to take the palm to press it against his/her forehead. And then, they got a drink a cup of holy water. Those who participated in the crossing of the bridge also got a t-shirt back.

Thursday, March 8, 2007

Kim Min Dai Lin arrives to "an" the Tentage

This evening, at about 9pm, Kim Min Dai Lin (Jin Mian Da Ren) arrived in the tangki (medium) to "an" (consecrate) the tentage, transforming it into a temple, marked out the perimeters of the temple with the celestial solders of the East, South, West, North and Centre (read from the Chinese aspect).

Many of the temple devotees were present to welcome the Deity and to seek advice. Kim Min Dai Lin also consecrated the new statues with the sponsors present. One could see the beaming and proud faces of the donors of the big statues .. Dragon Kings, Geok Ong Sam Tai Tsu (Yu Huang San Tai Zi), Nai He Tong Zi, Jian Li Yen and Shun Feng Er (Assistants to Mazu).

A devotee also made a normal size golden sword for Kim Min Dai Lin.

Wednesday, March 7, 2007

Temple Celebrations to start tomorrow

By this evening, most of the set up is in place. The empty shell of the hugh tentage is now like a temple when you walk into it. Banners were hung all across the aisle, each exorting the Deities in this temporary temple.

This year sees an addition of thirteen new statues of the Deities. They include the four Dragon Kings, the two Assistants of Mazu and Yu Huang San Tai Zi.

Tomorrow at 9pm, Jin Mian Da Ren (Kim Min Dai Lin) will come to "an" (setup) the temple and consecrate the new statues.

The place: Kallang Carpark F, near to the Kallang Theatre.

Monday, March 5, 2007

Preparation for the Big Day

The members of the Jin Dong Fu (Kim Tong Hu) are busy setting up the elaborate props in the huge tentage at Carpark F at Kallang (next to the former Kallang Theatre). Jin Dong Fu is well known for its elaborate props and set up at its festive tentage and the size of the statues of the Deities. You have to go to see to believe.

The main deity of the temple is Jin Mian Da Ren 金面大人and his three brothers. No one has seen the faces of Jin Mian Da Ren and his brothers (not even in their dreams) and so, until this day, they are only represented by a tablet.

The other deity that is actively involved in Jiu Shi (Kiu Sei 救世) is Shan Cai Tong Zi 善才童子. This celebration is in honour of Shan Cai Tong Zi, on 1M22, that is 11 Mar 07.

Jin Mian Da Ren is expected to arrive on the night (about 9pm) of 7 Mar 07 (Wed) to "an" (setup) the altars in the tentage.