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Inner Circle/Outer Circle – Geography of the Nine Emperor Gods Temple, Ampang

While we are (impatiently) awaiting the start of the 2010 festivities, we can learn something about the geography of the festival at the Nine Emperor Gods Temple in Ampang.  Here is the Google Earth image of the temple grounds.  It is a good thing that they didn’t take the satellite image when the festival was happening.  A cloud of smoke would have obscured everything!

Google Earth Image of Temple Complex

The inner circle is comprised of the religious elements of the festival.  This includes the altars of course, as well as the dormitories and kitchen facilities for hosting the devotees who come to pray three times daily.  The Altars show up nicely on this satellite image, well at least the roof lines give an indication of where they are.  Although geographically separate from the temple building, the opera stage would be included in the “inner circle”.  Here are a few photos of the inner circle elements taken last year.

View of the Main Temple from the Opera Stage


Lions paying their Respects to the Big Dipper

Altar of the Southern Heavens


One of the Cashier’s Counters inside


Offerings strewn in front of the curtained Altar of the Emperor

(As I am partial to the space, I’ll cover the “Pole of Invitation” in a separate blog. I’ll also post some information about what goes on at the Opera Stage, with some links to photos from this stage that are all over the internet.)

The outer circle is the economically driven part of the festival.  This is the area just outside the temple buildings where the fair takes place.  It’s a really fun and colourful cacophony of stalls where one can buy both lollipops in the shape of Taoist deities and all of the bits and pieces needed for praying, have your fortune told or set a date for a wedding, receive acupuncture treatments or get a tatoo, and buy artwork that you can watch being made.  It’s the Malaysian version of the State Fair where the line ups for Stinky Taiwanese Tofu here rival those for deep-fried corn dogs in Iowa. Here’s a sampling of photos from the fairgrounds.  The same vendors return year after year, so visitors come looking for their favorites!

Clever Lollipops, right on theme


Interesting combinations are all around


Red Turtles, a symbol of longevity, are often taken to home altars as well as offered to the Emperor


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Cheryl

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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