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Tan Wee Cheng, Singapore   weecheng.com
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Lengkok Bahru - June 2004

A ceremony at Lengkok Bahru organised by Xia Sheng Gong


12 June 2004


On the way back from fetching my kids from their swimming lessons (6.30pm), I went by Lengkok Bahru. The ceremony is at Block 55. Interestingly, there was also a funeral wake sharing the same place.
From the 'flags' and banners planted along the road, this temple is the "Hup Seng Keng" (Hokkien) or "Xia Sheng Gong". There were a number of lorries decorated. I saw three "sedan chairs". The Nan Xian drums-and-gong group is also there, as I saw the lorry with their banner. There was also a hearse-like vehicle as well.
The temple seems to be celebrating the birthday(?) of the Tua-Li-Ya-Pek (Hokkien).
Did not have the time to stop and observe. The medium was already in trance as I passed by, judging by the crowd and the drums/gongs.
Victor Yue

13 June 2004

I went there at 6+pm.  Huge crowd.  There were 10 mediums, including a few who were very young - probably 15 or 16 years old.  There were possessions by Black/White Wu-changs, Monkey God, Tudi Gong (which I told do not usually possess mediums),  Lianhua Taizhi and other deities whose identities I need to reconfirm.  I think it was the birthday of GuanGong - indicated by a banner - but I thought the specific date is end of the month.  Anyway, I was told that they might want to celebrate it earlier. 
There was even a huge empty Taoist coffin which they used in the procession later.  It was loaded onto the hearse and was part of the entire entourage.
After the various ceremonies (including self-mutilation and lots of blood), the mediums and helpers got onto lorries, and worshippers (plus me and my friends) got onto coaches (at least 12 of them!!!), and then the whole entourage went to the Jade Emperor Temple in Jurong.  Here the mediums followed the lion and dragon dancers (+ sedan chairs) to the temple to pay respect to the Jade Emperor.  After that (abt 8ish pm), the whole group set off for other temples.  At that point, our stomach got the better of us and we headed downtown for dinner.
Are there any of you guys down there?  I think I saw another casual photographer apart from 2 professional ones engaged by the temples.
Wee Cheng

13 June 2004

I did and thanks for the reccommendation, actually missed the ceremonies you mentioned but for me the study of altar setups is more interesting. 

In the relaxed aftermath atmosphere had time to chat with the family organising the event. Actually main temple deity is Kwan ti ya, normaly celebrated 5th moon 13th day, but they decided for practical reasons to go early this year. The underworld (seng ong kong) tent was particularly interesting with glorious hell style arrangements, must confess to having special preference to the hell gods, so am most grateful to wee cheng for the tip. 

The coffin present belongs to a member of the temple who coincidentally owns a bus repairing outfit so he has the space and inclination to store the coffin there where much good fortune should accrue, again im a lover of chinese traditional coffins and am sympathetic to this tradition of keeping coffins for luck.I dont think the coffin was a part of a funeral ceremony victor, more really an accessory to get devotees into the right mood when approaching the chap puay tee gay/ seng ong tent. took lots of photos of details willing to share with anyone interested . 

Thanks again 





Sedan for a Hell deity


A Hell altar


The hats and mini-altars for each of the Emperors of the Ten Courts of Hell


Painting depicting recarnation


Altar to the chief deities of Hell


Hellish scenes


The "Good Luck" coffin


The ceremony begins as the gongs beat


The hearse for the Lords of Hell 


Sedan for another deity


Medium in trance - manifestation of the Monkey God


In trance - the medium has to be supported by his assistants


Altar to Lian Hua San Tai Zhi


Medium representing Lian Hua San Tai Zhi


Medium representing the Monkey God


This medium is being pierce by sharp metal poles


All in now!


This medium, representing Hei Wu Chang (Er Yeh Bo), is being pierced.


Teen medium representing Bai Wu Chang (Da Yeh Bo)


His turn to be pierced.


A teen Er Yeh Bo




Monkey God - the calm before the storm - all set to do temple visiting! 


Prayers to the Jade Emperor before setting off for the Jade Emperor's Temple at Jurong West


Help me to balance the skewers, please!


Er Yeh Bo is known to be a heavy smoker.


Checking the skewers.  There is always a guy on standby with rice wine as disinfectant.  


The main altar at the Jade Emperor's Temple at Jurong West


Monkey God at the Jade Emperor's Temple


The City God - he hardly appears in temple ceremonies.  So, this is a rare appearance.


The Bai Wu Chang kowtowing to the Jade Emperor


The teen mediums paying respect to the Jade Emperor


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Tan Wee Cheng 2004