Today is the seventh day of the Nine Emperor Gods Festival (3rd October 2011). Just three more days to go before the festival comes to an end for this year. Despite being the 7th day and the last 3 days of the festivals (many who cannot do the vegetarian fast for nine days will opt for the last 3 days), the festival appears to be suffering from a bit of the Monday blues for it was far quieter than on last Thursday or Friday morning.
|9.47am - Pretty quiet for the 7th day. The large complex to the right of the temple is the Ampang New Village School.|
|The crowd had already thinned out by 2.44am in the wee hours of Monday morning.|
|The smoldering joss stick pit and the relatively empty parking lot on Monday morning.|
After a mad rush back from work (traffic crawl at NKVE and taking a detour using the Guthrie Corridor to get back to DUKE highway) and a quick shower, I make my usual dash to the temple, hoping that I had not missed out on any good shots. A quick glimpse out the window before I leave hinted to me that the Monday morning blues had totally been wiped out. Hell, it looked a lot more like a Friday night. No, make that more hectic than last Friday night. The crowd was like, let me put it this way, Bukit Bintang on a Friday night - just imagine that the temple as the Pavillion/Starhill and Jalan Merdeka as Bintang Walk, the stalls as all the al fresco dining spots and there you are - Bukit Bintang! (I could almost hear Kathy Perry's Last Friday Night playing in background, lol) Well, no quite - can't say much about the smoke and the beggers though. The number of beggars seemed to have swelled over the last few days.
You do not have to put any effort to walk on once you are inside the temple compound, for the swell of people will push you onwards. That is how large the crowd is. There was a seance in progress in front of the Five Generals' altar, so I shuttled between taking shots on the inside the temple (I am still bent on taking photos of Marshall Tian and Lin) and standing at the threshold of the small left door to catch pictures of the seance in progress. Somehow I am awed by the medium (or the deity). He has to keep on switching between the roles of a psychologist, physician, teacher and being a divine being throughout the session. That is a lot of hats to wear!
|The joss stick goes in, the workers take them out (in about one minute's time). Will post a video of the workers in action later.|
|The queue for the Nine Emperor Gods Fan Club starts at the main hall.|
|The Tian and Lin Marshall Fan Club lines aren't too shabby either.|
|Looks like the Nine Emperor Gods Fan Club queue just kept on growing longer by the minute.|
|An offering of light by a devotee.|
|Listening to the devotee's problems.|
|Inquiries on the doctor's consultation hours.|
|Oh my god! So so excited.|
The fan club photo shots - finally one of the fans gets to meet his idol.
|Wow, he gets his five minutes of chatting with his idol. And he leaves with at least one personally autograph slips (talismans).|
|Female fans waiting anxiously in line to meet their idol.|
|Oh, hurry up you cow! I have been standing here in this line for hours. I too want to meet my idol. |
Notice the black flag, which is the Or Leng Ki (黑令旗/黑令旗) that is used in every trance session to ward off evil spirits and protect the area.
|Peekaboo, I see you! The red door under the North Star Pagoda. Reminds me of Alice in Wonderland. Half expecting to see a human sized bunny popping out of the door.|
|Another red door.|
After getting tired of taking photos of the medium, I went off to take photos of the dragon joss sticks. They have the habit of spitting out sparks or suddenly rekindling in the wind, so photographers beware.
|A forest of dragon joss sticks.|
|Long joss sticks crackling and sometimes bursting into flames in the wind.|
I still have many more photos to post, due to time constraints will only do so after the festivals ends. Do come back and check.