Kou Gun (犒军)
A ritual whereby cooked food is offered to reward or feed the heavenly armies.
Three tables of cooked food are placed at the altar for the heavenly armies.
Besides cooked food, pails of grass with Joss sticks were offered to the heavenly horses. Temple Visits (晋香)
During the festival, Shen Xian Gong embarked on a series of visits to various NEG temples in Singapore. On top of that, several NEG temples in Singapore also visited Shen Xiang Gong. These visits involve the exchange of gifts and also short rituals which strengthens the ties and friendship between these temples.
Visit from members of Jiu Huang Dian (九皇殿).
Visit from members of Long Nan Dian (龙南殿).
Visit from members of Jing Shui Gang (汫水港).
Visit from members of Kim San Tze (金山寺).
Shen Xian Gong’s visit to Jing Shui Gang.
Shen Xian Gong’s visit to Feng San Gong (凤山宫) in Defu Lane. Such visits also reflect the deep friendships and ties between these temples.
Besides exchange of gifts, short rituals such as Cao Ying (操营) was also performed during the temple visits.
Exchange of joss sticks between both temples at the end of the visit. Sending off (恭送圣驾)
The final day and also the busiest day of the festival where the temple sends the Nine Emperor Gods with rituals and ceremonies running from early morning till late at night.
The first ritual is known as Qing Jiao (清醮), where the Taoist priest pray for blessings.
Uncle Ah Huat folding the paper clothing donated by devotees for the Song Tian Gong (送天宫) ritual.
Devotees and members of the temple bowing together with the offerings during the Xian Gong (献贡) ritual. The offerings include lanterns, flowers as well as their personal belongings.
Zhong Tan Yuan Shuai was also involved in the one of the rituals, known as Lor Guan (路关）which requires members of the temple to toss paper money in order for the deities to overcome the obstacles.
The Taoist priests and Zhong Tan Yuan Shuai leading members of the temples and devotees to the ritual of sending off the Jade Emperor (送天公). The temple members and Zhong Tan Yuan Shuai will offer tea, then burn incense paper, banners, sugar cane and paper clothing.
The final ritual called Guo Ping An Qiao (过平安桥) which the Taoist priest will lead the devotees in crossing the bridge which bestow them with good health and longevity. The devotees first cross according to their zodiac sign, then everyone crosses the bridge together in the last round, with thirteen rounds in total.
Similar to the receiving ceremony, the sending off ceremony involves the trancing of Zhong Tan Yuan Shuai.
The trancing of the Nine Emperor Gods.
Female helpers of the temple are tasked to carry the Sedan Chair of Dou Mu Niang Niang, the mother of the Nine Emperor Gods. This Sedan Chair is to be carried by the ladies only which has been an old tradition of Shen Xian Gong.
On the other hand, male helpers of the temple carry the Sedan Chair for the Urn for the sending off ceremony.
Helpers of the temple lifting the Dragon Boat into the sea, which is meant to send the Nine Emperor Gods back.
The Dragon Boat is subsequently set on fire. The burning of the Dragon Boat symbolises the departure of the Nine Emperor Gods.
Back at the temple, the Taoist priest and Zhong Tan Yuan Shuai concludes the sending off ceremony with the burning of incense papers to send off the deities (送众神).
The end of the sending off ceremony also marks the end of the vegetarian diet as devotees enjoy the buffet with meat dishes.