Friday, June 29, 2007

Zhong Tan Yuan Shuai 中坛元帅 comes visiting

Despite the light drizzle this evening, devotees of Jin Dong Fu gathered at the celebration tentage. It's the day of the celebration week that is probably the most exciting one for the kids. It's crossing the PingAn Bridge time.

In the early part of the evening, there was a ritual of Li Dou (pai tao). Immediately after that, the Taoist Priests started the necessary preparation for the crossing of the PingAn Bridge, by "setting" up the bridge and clearing the way.

While this was going on, Tiong Tua Guan Shuei (Zhong Tan Yuan Shuai) arrived in the midst of the drums and gongs. Tonight, the oldest of the drummers could be in late fifties or even sixties and the youngest, possibly 5? It's the 4th generation, I was told. The temple is assured of continuity for the kimkor twee (percussion group).

The Tiong Tua that arrived was a young one and so, the devotees just loved teasing him and he them. He also blessed the bridge before following the lead Taoist Priest in the crossing of the bridge, with the devotees, with each group according to the order of the animals depicting each of the 12 year cycle. It was not only fun time for the kids, but for the adults too. Each animal group was trying to outdo the other in yelling "huat ah" the loudest.


As each person came down from the bridge, he or she had to "pay" a bridge toll and then, were blessed by Tiong Tua with a dab of red link on the forehead and a stamp of the temple seal on the back of the t-shirt/blouse.

After the 12 animals had been called, there was a grand finale with everyone crossing one more time. And then, it was "makan" (eating) time with Tiong Tua giving each person a red egg. There was more than enough to share and so, many came back for more.

While the kids were happy munching the hardboiled red eggs, the adults were more interested in chatting with Tiong Tua. They urged him to demonstrate some of his gungfu skills, which he obliged.

1 comment:

congmaoyuanjiuhuanggong said...

Who is this main god of Jin Dong Fu ?