Sunday, February 13, 2011

Replenish Luck (蒲运) @ Shuang Lin City God Temple (双林城隍庙)

I was supposed to post an entry on Shuang Lin City God Temple (双林城隍庙) but the 200 pictures i have will take up too much time (and effort). Basically, laziness prevails!

Anyway, the Chinese New Year is a great time to visit the Taoist temples for a fresh beginning, financial prosperity, good luck and fantastic health for the whole lunar year!

There are various ceremonies available only during this period - notably the prayer ceremony for Tai Sui (which i hope i can explain more in the future). Today, we are going to focus on this festive ceremony (Replenish Luck) i started partaking in two years ago.

I am no expert in the millions of ceremonies performed by Taoists all over the world and have to rely on my mom for a simple summary. In a nutshell, it's in the hope of replenishing/increasing your good luck so that everything goes smoothly for the new year.

The family package that cost S$25.00 - an empty ang pao packet for the monks performing the ritual, the pink slip that lists down the names of your family members and a bright orange paper for burning at the end.

In the front of the temple's main altar are rows of seemingly low seats for the devotees to participate in this good luck ceremony.

Queuing is necessary for entry.

People in front of me sitting uncomfortably on the low seats; anyhow, it beats getting your pants dirty on the floor!

The supposedly 'seats' are in fact for our knees! Elderly person or those who are unable to kneel for long period of time can choose to sit on the chairs provided at the sides.

One monk will chant the scriptures (yes, weird to have Buddhist monks performing a Taoist ritual but i have seen such practice before) and include those names on the pink slip in his chanting while the other will go around sprinkling holy water on us.

After 30 minutes, the ritual ended with a Cavin who was almost about to doze off! The above was the bright orange paper for burning. On it was Chinese characters that translated to "Samaritan Guides" - meaning (also taken from the figurines on the paper) is that there are a few types of samaritan who will guide you (positively) in life.

New discovery of Taoist deities or characters never fails to amaze me! How can there be so many!?


Anyway, according to mum, 蒲运 is better performed within the 15 days of the new year.

Taoists may note that there are only 4 days left!

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