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The Procession on the Ninth Night

The moon is almost full!  How fast this ninth month is going by. I have a lot of photos to share but it is taking some time to go through them and choose.  It’s a fun exercise to limit a topic to Nine.

We had an excellent send off for the Emperor, last Wednesday evening.  The energy was high, the rains held off and there was a great sense of community spirit.  For this Top Nine, I’ve chosen some photos of the procession from Tow Boh Keong, Hong Kong St to the Yeoh Jetty.  There were a lot of other things going on as you will see in the next few posts.

1. The crowds began building about 7pm and quietly, the gods were called, and the Pathway of Safekeeping (peng onn) was opened for all to pass through.

2. The boats were moved out, ceremoniously, to the street.  This boat would be burned later out on the sea.

3. Devotees knelt in front of the temple with their joss sticks, while the fireworks filled the skies behind.  This is the moment when the urns are about to be carried from behind the yellow curtain and placed on the float.

4. The mediums were lifted on to the float and the devotees pulled the float through the streets with huge ropes, the full 2 km to the sea.

5. Temple Committee members led the way.  They were more enthusiastic than they appear here!

6. Nine Drummers Druming – well, I was hoping for that!  These are the new drums that we saw consecrated the night before, especially for the send-off.

7. At some of the major intersections the participating temples would show off a bit – these young men were running through fire while carrying the god in a heavy wooden chair.

8. Here’s the Hong Kong St temple taking Tow Pek Gong for a spin.

9. The streets were very crowded for most of the route and as we approached the jetty it got quite raucous with expectation.

More on trances and piercings, and the boat burning in the next posts!

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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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