Return to Long Nan Dian
Fig. 140: After returning to Long Nan Dian, the luzhu and the Long Nan Dian committee pay respect in front of the Second Nine Emperor Gods.
Fig. 141: After making their rounds around the festival space and returning the urn, the 7th chair team, like the other teams, carries their unlit chair back to be parked.
Rewarding the 5 armies, Ko Kun (犒军)
Every day of the festival at 4pm, there would be a Ko Kun ritual to reward the armies defending the festival space.
Fig. 142: The food laid out on the table for the Ko Kun ritual everyday would be later served during dinner time for devotees.
Fig. 143: The head priest conducting the Ko Kun ritual.
Fig. 144: Ah Tsui feeding the 5 horses by dropping beans.
Fig. 145: Ferlicia pouring tea for the 5 generals of the 5 camps.
Visiting temples to Long Nan Dian
Once in a while, other temples would visit Long Nan Dian during their Yew Keng, such as North South Doumu Palace (南北斗母宫).
Fig. 146: On this day, the Seventh chair was on duty and thus was tasked with receiving the visiting temple.
Fig. 147: The devotees for North South Doumu Palace making their way into Long Nan Dian festival space.
Fig. 148: Exchange of gift baskets
Fig. 149: North South Doumu Palace’s sedan chair in action during their stop at Long Nan Dian.
Fig. 150: The visiting temple entourage bowing in front of the Long Nan Dian Nine Emperor Gods altar.
Re-fueling of 9 oil lamps (九曲灯)
The 9 oil lamps were hung on a bamboo pole and signify the presence of the Nine Emperor Gods. As they had to be kept lit at all times, every day at 6am and 6pm, the bamboo pole would be lowered for the refilling of oil in the lamps to take place before they were hung and raised again.
Fig. 151: As the bamboo pole was being lowered, Ah Wu would sound the gong periodically until the bamboo pole reached the ground.
Fig. 152: As Ah Zhong refills the lamps with oil, the person on the right wipes the glass of the lamps clean.
Fig. 153: Ah Zhong lights up a lamp with a lighter after re-fueling it.
Fig. 154: A temple helper hangs a lamp after it has been lit onto a metal frame hanging from the bamboo pole.
Fig. 155: The ritual ends with the raising of the lamps. The temple helper (front) kneels in respect as Ah Wu (back) hits the gong until the lamps have been raised.
Visitation to other temples (初五)
Long Nan Dian reserves an evening to visit the temples that they did not manage to visit during their Yew Keng so that they could exchange incense with them. The sequence of events was largely the same across the temples visited, so only one temple, Yu Feng Jiu Huang Dian (玉封九皇殿) is taken as an example.
Fig. 156: The Long Nan Dian entourage pays respect in front of the Nine lamps of the host temple.
Fig. 157: The luzhu, holding the shoulu (手炉), or hand urn, the Long Nan Dian entourage and the host temple people pay respect to the Nine Emperor Gods in front of the main altar.
Fig. 158: After paying of respects to the Nine Emperor Gods, the temples exchange gift baskets.
Fig. 159: The incense exchange also occurs after the paying of respects.
Fig. 160: Friendly banter between both temples
Fig. 161: The host temple sends off the Long Nan Dian entourage.
Rituals on the Birthday of the Nine Emperor Gods on the 6th (初六正日)
The 6th day of the 9th lunar month is the birthday of the Nine Emperor Gods, so the day is dedicated to rituals celebrating the Nine Emperor Gods and even having a birthday celebration for them. Rituals included 发咒, 清静经 (Peace Sutra), 做功 and 献宝. In summary, 发咒means invoking the gods, not just Long Nan Dian’s Nine Emperor Gods, and inviting them to the temple space, 清静经 is meant for the removal of desires and 做功 and 献宝is meant to praise and entertain the deities.
Fig. 162: The priest brandishes a special sword and waves it in front of the devotees during发咒. The short sword that the priest used signifies the power that he has over the generals, and thus he mobilises them and their armies (调兵遣将).
Fig. 163: The priest in the middle does a little dance while staying in the same position, before he makes some steps and knocks the red wooden block on the table. The block is called the Five Thunder Title (五雷牌), and by knocking it the priest gives a command to the generals.
Fig. 164: The priest recites the Peace Sutra.
Fig. 165: The head priest passes a hand urn to a devotee (郭汶明先生). As a show of 献宝, which translates as presenting treasures, the devotee raises the item with both hands in a sign of respect and passes it to the next devotee, so on and so forth, until the item goes a full round and is placed back on the table.
Fig. 166: The priests entertain the devotees during 做功, which is meant to also entertain the deities.
Fig. 167: The ritual table used during the day’s rituals.
Fig. 168: The food on the table will be distributed to all the devotees later in the day.
Later in the night was the birthday celebration. The priests led a ritual celebrating the Nine Emperor Gods’ birthday before a cake was cut and the food was distributed.
Fig. 169: The head priest leads the devotees around the tables of food as he does the Consecration ritual.
Fig. 170: The head priest leads the devotees in the birthday ritual.
Fig. 171: The birthday cake for 2017 festival.
Fig. 172: The cake being brought to the kitchen.
Fig. 173: The cake was cut into smaller slices and later served to the devotees.
Fig. 174: Incense paper, among other paraphernalia, was burnt for the Nine Emperor Gods.
Fig. 175: Lu Gu (wearing a white and yellow shirt) distributes food to a devotee.