Decorating the Ritual Ship (24th October 2017)
The Ritual Ship was filled with stickers by now. Lights were added to the boat to enhance its appearance.
Nine Emperor Gods’ Birthday (25th October 2017)
The Nine Emperor Gods’ eggless Birthday Cake. Vegetarians are allowed to consume it.
Temple volunteers distributing pieces of the birthday cake and longevity buns to the worshippers.
Hong San Temple Kitchen Committee 扮仙 (25th October 2017)
Offerings from the Kitchen Committee were mostly food. Interestingly, they also included handmade angbao handicrafts.
More Decorations to the Ritual Ship 祈福法船 (26th October 2017)
Preparing for the Sending Off Ceremony on the 28th
Applying some final touches.
Closing of the Bridge of Blessings (27th October 2017)
Dismantling of the Bridge.
After dismantling the bridge, the modules were wrapped up and stored in the temple for the Nine Emperor Gods festival next year.
2017 Sending-Off Ceremony
28th October 2017 was a big day in Hong San Temple and other Nine Emperor God temples. It was the day for the sending off of the Nine Emperor Gods. The day also marked the end of the festival, and vegetarian diet (for most).
Before the Procession: Tangyuan Making
Making Tangyuan for the Nine Emperor Gods on Sending-Off Day.
The rice dumplings (汤圆) have to be made by a 好命人. To be a 好命人, he or she must have (1) a living spouse, (2) both sons and daughters, (3) never lost a child, (4) grandchildren from both sons and daughters. The Tangyuan will be offered not only to the Nine Emperor Gods but also to all the deities.
Off to make the Tangyuans.
The Tangyuans have to be pink/red in color. The soup is made with pandan leaves, ground sugar and ginger.
Done, and ready to be served
13 bowls of Tangyuan for the leap year. There will be 12 bowls during ‘normal’ years.
There will be 9 tangyuans per bowl.
Before the Procession
Temple volunteers hung lettuces on the Ritual Ship (in the afternoon, as they prepared for the Sending Off Ceremony at night).
The Hokkien pronunciation of lettuce a homophone for “Seh Cai” which means make money.
Opera troupe performers pay their respects to the deities, which was part of the 扮仙 performance. Alongside them were the 总务and 宫务 from Hong San Temple committee
Devotees paying their respects to the Nine Emperor Gods
Members from Seng Yiu Association at Hong San Temple around 1630H
The Seng Yiu Association members carried Chinese musical instruments, including gongs and cymbals, and prepared to pay their tribute to the Nine Emperor Gods on Sending Off Day
Drums, cymbals and gongs accompanied the two Big Head dolls
A Teochew Lor Kor performance lasted for 45 minutes. Seng You Association members subsequently assembled before the steps at the main entrance, and paid their respects to the Nine Emperor Gods
Decorating the leading truck for the Procession
The Nine Emperor Gods banner (Red) leads the Yellow Banner proclaiming the returning of the Nine Emperor Gods. Ready to move out.
Devotees start to arrive around 1730H