Saturday, October 8, 2011

Chinese Traditional Festival - Nine Emperor Gods Festival

There must be something, a lit something that you grew up with. Ever since I was a kid, mom used to tie up a yellow band on my hand for a certain period of time, every once a year, mostly around October. The rainy season, usually.

Well, traditional festival that's what you named it.


Never able to catch the story behind, until I was asked to follow to the temple to join the popular folk culture . I was told it's gonna be packed w humans. But to join in the merry and know a lit more, why not?



Come home with a brain-full of doubts, so I googled the history and stories behind.


To share it with ya,

It's Nine Emperor Gods Festival;

Its a nine-day Taoist celebration beginning on the eve of 9th lunar month of the Chinese calendar, which is observed primarily in Southeast Asian countries like Myanmar, Singapore, Malaysia, and Thailand, and also the Riau Islands.







The term Ye () as in Jiu Huang Ye (九皇爺) loosely translates as "Grandfather", a title worshipers commonly use to bring a more intimate relationship between themselves and the Nine Emperors. The Nine Emperor Gods should not be mixed up with the Wang Ye or Princes of the Ming rebels. Popular folk culture has it that the Nine Emperor Gods are actually sea pirates of the Ming dynasty that plotted to overthrow the Qing dynasty. According to Priest Long Hua, this information is inaccurate and considered derogatory to the actual teachings of Taoism as the Nine Emperor Gods are actually high ranking Star Lords who preside over the movement of planets and coordinate mortal Life and Death issues.



The Nine Emperors is formed by the 7 stars of the Big Dipper of the North Ursa Major (visible) and two assistant stars (invisible). When viewed closely, the arrangement of the 7 stars "the Ladle" and the 2 assistant stars on its left and right resembles a Yin-Yang pattern form.


On the eve of the ninth moon, temples of the deities hold a ceremony to invoke and welcome the nine emperors. Since the arrival of the gods are believed to be through the waterways, processions are held from temples to the sea-shore or river to symbolize this belief.
Devotees dressed in traditional white, carrying incense and candles, await the arrival of their excellencies.





*Happy w mine*


A "carnival-like" atmosphere pervades the temple throughout the nine-day festival.
During this period of time, the constant tinkling of a prayer bell and chants from the temple priests are heard.
Most devotees stay at the temple, eat vegetarian meals and recite continuous chanting of prayer. It is believed that there will be rain throughout the nine days of celebration.





The ninth day of the festival is its climax.
A procession which draws scores of devotees send the deities back home.




Was all teary while doing the prayer(smoke from praying sticks), but it was all worth it cuz I've gained one more knowledge about the traditional. Now I've got more topic with mom!

Indeed a good one!
Amazed by how people blend in the culture and believes, to pass it to one generation and after. Doesn't matter what you believes, as long as there is a lit something inside you to keeps you motivate, that's the spirit that got my respect.

What do you say?

** All related information are reference from wikipedia.

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