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The fire element plays a very important role in the Nine Emperor Gods Festival as devotional acts bring the world into balance. The presence of Yang can be very dramatically applied as in the Firewalking rituals, the boom of fireworks, the strength of dragons and the blaze of offerings at an altar. I especially enjoy its more subtle moments when white candles light the faces of devotees or hint at pushing back the edge of darkness. Fire is the glint of a tang-ki’s sword and the power of ten thousand joss sticks, one lit from another. Here are a few Fire moments from the 2019 festival.


Author Cheryl

Rarely without my camera, I am inspired by energy in a crowd, the peacefulness of light, and the intensity of spirit. Based in Malaysia, I photograph rituals and traditions, ceremonies and celebrations, beliefs and ideas.

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