Nine Emperor Gods Festival

Candlesticks melting


November 8, 2019

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,…

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Spaces along the street

Small Sacred Spaces along the Street

October 21, 2019

When the Nine Emperors Gods are invited to the temple, it is customary for devotees to offer tea and joss sticks in sets of nine out of respect and a sense of Chinese hospitality. Look at those nine little tea…

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Dates for the 2019 Festival Ampang Style

Haze Move Over! Dates for the 2019 Festival (Ampang Style)

September 25, 2019

Ready, Set, Go! The Nine Emperor Gods Festival begins on Saturday

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Nine from the magical 8th

Nine From The Magical 8th 

October 18, 2018

The eighth day at the Nine Emperor Gods festival is a comfortable one. The established patterns linger amidst the anticipation of the finale on the ninth. The day’s rituals are inclusive, rich in blessing and in energy. Here are nine…

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Mediums in action

Mediums In Action

October 12, 2018

Protecting the sacred space of the festival is the priority of the rituals held on Days 3, 6 and 9. These rituals are designed to honour the 5 Taoist Generals and the spiritual armies of soldiers that arrive at the…

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Renewal (version 2018)

October 11, 2018

I always wonder how we got here, once again, so quickly. This is the beginning; the cycle of renewal; new energies layered on top of the years gone by. On the eve of the festival, it’s all about the smoke…

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An illustration of a man-made dragon

Merged Energies in an Evening of Expectation

November 2, 2017

The eve of the Nine Emperor Gods Festival in Ampang is always one of great expectations. Before the sun sets, the dragons and lions dance before the altar in a frenzied performance of respect. In that ritual, the sacred space…

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Religious scriptures

Being Reminded in the Beginning

November 1, 2017

There is an interesting energy on the eve of the Nine Emperor Gods Festival. For me it is a day of looking back and of looking forward, of seeking to remember what lies ahead. It always feels a little empty…

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A priest is burning a flag as the part of ritual

Sacred Space and Energy on Hong Kong St

October 28, 2017

Hong Kong St Tow Bow Keong is a gathering place. It is the heart of the Nine Emperor Gods Festival in Penang, respected, honest, dedicated. Here I see a convergence of energies, criss-crossing lines, colours merging. During the rituals, the…

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Kemenyan rice in a utensil at temple during the festival

The Huki and The One

October 27, 2017

In Georgetown, the other evening, I witnessed a ritual at Tiong Sim Thnuah on Hong Kong Street. They worship the nine emperors as ONE, and present a beautiful, intricately-carved statue of that deity that they refer to as “a kind…

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