TANKI     The Ancient Gods, Rituals and Spirit-Mediumship of Folk Taoism in Modern Singapore

Tan Wee Cheng, Singapore   weecheng.com
Tanki - Gods & Mediums Mainpage

Lin Hoon Din 凌云殿 - Geylang Lorong 27A June 2004

4 July 2004

It was a hot and wet afternoon and since our cameras are not waterproof, we missed the procession action. But we did capture some shots of the proceedings. WeeCheng and Andi might have additional reports from where they were. We seemed to be all over. 

When I was at the Lin Hoon Din (h) 凌云殿 at 1pm, the Lion Dance and Dragon Dance were all over. Four digits made of the Mandarin Oranges (by the Lion Dancers) was on the floor. Well the 4-D enthusiasts, something to bet on. (^^) If they allow mobile 4-D gaming, imagine the growth of the local economy! 

There was free food and having no breakfast, I beelined to get some beehoon with vegetables (all vegetarian) and redbean soup. There was a wayang (street opera) going on but hardly any audience, well, it's for the Gods. It's a pity that the Dialect Operas are not really doing well because of lack of understanding of the dialects. And space is a problem, as in this case, where the bigger version of street opera had to be downsized to be able to fit within the confined space.

The "master" of the temple is old and ailing and so he did not get into trance. Three ladies went into trance. One spirit-medium represented Ma-guan-shuei (h) 马元帅, one is Sian-chye-ya (h)善财爷 and the main one is Sam-lian-put-chor (h) 三连佛祖. The occasion was for the birthday of the Jade Emperor.

The arrival of the Sam-lian-put-chor was dramatic. I have a 11MB mov file on that. What I understand is that this is the 18-hand Goddess of Mercy.

Today was the first time in years that rained during the procession, but the show went on. Faith moves mountains and so rain is no matter, save the cameramen.  A typical procession would have ended in a open space where they will burn the joss papers and a paper house and performing some of the rites, and the devotees going through a "Tiger-Gate" 虎关 . But with the open space all taken up for housing, some adjustments had to be made. So, the "Tiger-Gate" was placed at the side door of the temple as devotees went through them and be blessed by the three Deities represented by the spirit-mediums.

After what seemed like an endless flow of devotees, finally, the Deities returned from where they came from. It took quite a while for the spirit-medium of Sam-lian-put-chor to recover from the strenuous activity. 

I heard that next weekend is going to be another exciting ones with temples in Telok Blangah and Bukit Purmei celebrating. Will look out for more details.

Victor Yue


Entrance to the temple


Wayang: No one was watching except for the gods, I guess


Elaborate paper offerings


Lottery number from the lion dancers


Schedule of events


The Altar


Altar to the Tiger Lord (Hu Yeh)


The Medium in trance


The medium blessing the new statue on behalf of Sam- lian- put -chor


Another medium, possessed by Ma-guan-shuei


Medium paying respects to the different gods


The medium greeted by the crowd as a manifestation of Guan Yin, or Sam-lian-put-chor








Tiger Gate


Sam-lian-put-chor blessing the believers


The medium in trance - look at her eyes!

thm_s7040066 (1).jpg

Getting out if the trance

thm_s7040066 (2).jpg

Back to normal now

If You Like This Website,

Click the button above to support TWC's website!

Buy these books! 
Lonely Planet: Singapore DK Eyewitness Travel Guides: Singapore (Eyewitness Travel Guides)    Lonely Planet: Malaysia, Singapore, Brunei

Tan Wee Cheng 2004