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Thursday, October 7, 2010

Early Arrival of the Emperors

Ever heard of the 9 gods emperor festival?
Ever since I started trollin' the photography forums,
I've heard and seen many photos covering the event...

like most Malaysian's I am blissfully ignorant of the actual meaning of this festival
Even when covering the event I never knew what to expect or what was happening
thanks though to this gwai poh'b blog, I learnt so much....
It is indeed an odd sight to see a foreigner educating chinese on the symbolism of a chinese festival...
I do admire her dedication... 

This year's celebration was extra special because the temple was recently renovated
It is nicely done up
One of the interesting things I noticed about the temple is the focus on animals
There's statues and carvings of tigers, birds, elephants, etc..
so it was not that surprising to find real animals nesting here
Other parts of the temple aren't as new such as the living quarters
and the crematorium(?)
Arriving early, I managed to take a walk around and snap some behind the scenes photos

not sure what the mini seats are for... mini emperors?
and found this huge tree interesting...
apparently it's like an entry point for spiritual guardians...
Eventually the event started and interestingly started with various troupes of lion dances
and each one is different..
some are interesting like this like drummer boy
Later came the dragons..
soon enough the altars to contain the emperors were brought in to be cleansed 
And soon was the devotees turn

Soon the devotees who would be vessels armed themselves
and soon the procession went out to the river to collect the emperors
while some devotees followed along
the others waited around for their return
About 2 hours later, they returned

So this is only the start.... 
Tomorrow is the start of the ninth month and the official celebration....
hopefully I get to cover most of the interesting stuff like the opera or the firewalk...
stay tuned!

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