Thursday, May 10, 2007

Tian Hock Keng celebrates Mazu's Birthday

9 May 2007, this year, was 23rd day of the 3rd Month in the Chinese Lunar Calendar. It was the birthday of Mazu, more popularly known to the older Chinese Hokkien people as Ma Chor Po. Tian Hock Keng, at Telok Ayer St, probably the oldest and most well preserved temple, is where Ma Chor Po resides in Singapore.

On this day, Tian Hock Keng, marked a new milestone in having a Taoist Ritual, which was not seen in as many years as I know. The day was crowded with devotees, young and old, grandpas and grandmas teaching their grandchildren about Mazu, office workers dropping by to "talk" with Mazu. Some would kneel in front of the altar "talking" to her for quite a long time.

A number followed the Taoist Priests in their rituals as they invite the other Deities and the Jade Emperor to join in the celebrations. A pair of lions came to add joy to the occasion. As with traditional practices, devotees lined up to put their share of contribution towards the "you-xiang" (donation box) as a temple assistant called out the name of the donor and called upon Mazu to bless him/her and family.

Legend has it that it would rain on Mazu's birthday, and indeed, it did.

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