Nine Emperor Gods Festival 2012 comes to an end

Each year on the 1st nine days of the Ninth Lunar Month, the Taoist community celebrates the Nine Empeor Gods Festival, commonly known as the Vegetarian Festival.

Tonight the few hundred Taoist temples spread all over Malaysia will send the Emperor Gods back to heaven after their nine day sojourn on Earth.

Most temples will have send off ceremonies at 12 midnight where the boat carrying the Emperor Gods will be set ablaze in the sea for some temples in rivers leading out to the sea.

The new Leng Eng Tian Nine Emperor Gods Temple at the Sungai Way old town.

The newly constructed Leng Eng Tian Temple in Sungai Way, Petaling Jaya have been celebrating the festival for the past 39 years and have the tradition of receiving and sending off the Emperor Gods in a remote beach at Pantai Morib, some 7o kilometres away from the temple.

Each year thousands of devotees from around Selangor gather at the beach just before midnigh to send off the gods and tonight the temple management expect an even a bigger crowd because of the newly built temple.

Images below are taken on the 8th night of the Ninth Lunar month at the Sungai Way temple as the nine day celebrations draws to a close.

The outer prayer altar sits in front of a giant mural depicting scenes from ancient Chinese history.
The inner payer hall leading to the chambers of the Emperor Gods which is on both sides of the main alter. The chamber is out of bounds to the public.
Each day, devotees will have to hoist down the 9 lanterns and refill the oil lamps to keep the lantern lighted. The lantern is then hoisted high above the temple to bless the neighbourhood.
A puppet show keeps the children and crowd entertained as they throng the temple grounds waiting for the daily ceremonies to begin.
A Chinese Hokkien opera adds to the gaiety and helps to liven up the whole temple ground.
Free vegetarian lunch and dinner are offered to the devotees and members of the public visiting the temple.
This ceremony requires the devotees to cross a make shift bridge. Along the way they are blessed by the temple mediums. Devotees do this to change their luck and fortune.
Mediums dip their faces and hands into the pot of boiling oil. Special herbs are added to the oil and devotees queue up to dip their palms into the burning oil and packing them into small bottles to bring home.
Devotees offer turtle shape yellow buns to the Gods hoping for long life and good health.
This being the year of the dragon, the Emperor Gods will be send off on this green dragon at the Morib Beach on the 9th day of the Ninth Lunar Month.
Throughout the day and night devotees gather at the temple grounds and make joss stick offerings to the Gods asking for good health and good fortune.
These 20 feet tall joss sticks burn slowly throughout the nine day festival adding to the atmosphere of the celebration.

Related videos:

Emperor Gods arrival at Morib Beach 2011

Glorious send off at Morib Beach 2010

Emperor Gods make a grand entrance at Teluk Pulai