Saturday, September 18, 2010

Mid Autumn and Birthday of the Great Heavenly Sage

Dear Friends and Neighbours,

once again, the Mid Autumn Festival rolls around, where we make time to mark the harvest, enjoy the beauty of the fullest Moon of the year, and make merry with goodies and beautiful lanterns.

While we no longer have most of the lanterns above - which up to the mid 1980s, were commonly on sale in Singapore, we can think of creating new ones of our own! Apparently such cellophane lanterns are unique to Malaysia and Singapore - and are not seen in mainland China itself.

Related to the season is the main Birthday of the Great Heavenly Sage - more popularly known as 'Monkey God'/'Monkey King' or 'Sun Wukong'.

His main temple in Singapore is right here in Tiong Bahru - the Qi Tian Gong Temple at Eng Hoon Street. This year, the temple celebrates its 90th Anniversary, as the street banner and decorations proudly proclaim.

As with each year, a full programme of entertainments for the Deity has been arranged for the 5 days of celebrations - from 24th Sept (16th day of the 8th Lunar Month) to 27th Sept (20th day of the 8th Lunar Month).

Details of the celebrations can be found on the website of the temple:

If you are interested in a colorful folk festival, this is the time to come to visit Tiong Bahru with your camera to capture the festivities! Lion and Dragon Dances, Chinese Opera and Getai!

This is also when a tour by Singapore's noted tourguide - Geraldene Lowe - as featured in the National Day special of the Straits Times this year - will be conducted to share with all who are interested, the history of Tiong Bahru.

p.s. as with each year's festival, it is going to be a lively and somewhat noisy event. If this is not your thing as a new resident, the temple seeks your accomodation and understanding on this matter.

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