Saturday, November 28, 2015

Adenium Premsup Yellow - pretty, easy and showy

Adenium Prem Sup Yellow (or Yellow Prem Sup) is a Thai Adenium hybrid that has been around for some time. This is an Adenium hybrid that I feel every Adenium lover should have. They are tough, floriferous, have amazing colours and always blooms in a cluster of three or more flowers.
Lovely Adenium Prem Sup Yellow.

The blooms start off as a light canary yellow, which quickly takes on a blush pink edging in the tropical heat. Over the days that it blooms, the flowers acquires more blush pink tones until the flower is somewhat pinkish with yellow undertones at the end of bloom lifespan. So you can get two colours in one with this Adenium hybrid. Contrasting well with flowers are the glossy, green leaves with prominent white veins.

They are easily available in South-East Asian region as Thailand mass produces them for export. However one should be vary of Thailand's mass produced Adeniums as plant sanitary practices are not so well practiced, thus some plants may be virus infected.

Friday, October 16, 2015

Ampang Nine Emperor Gods Festival 2015 - Feeding of the Heavenly Army on Day 3

Day 3, 6 and 9 sees the feeding of the Heavenly Army at Ampang Nine Emperor Gods. This is where they put buckets of food out for the Generals and Heavenly Army of the five directions. On the 3rd day, they will also plant the five directional flags on the perimeter of the temple, signifying the Heavenly army and their generals standing guard over the temple at the four corners and in the centre.
The medium in a trance self-immolates and overseas the feeding of the heavenly army with the Taoist priest.
No, he is not going to issue you summons for parking haphazardly - the medium going around the temple inspecting the temple ground and getting rid of any 'evil' influences that might have sneaked in

After a short break, the medium trancing the Nine Emperor God will also make an inspection round of the entire temple. The fun part is to watch him inspect the dorms (where we had no idea which way he would come in or out from - kinda like a guessing game) and also of the opera stage, where he does a little twirl at centre stage.
The Emperor God and his royal entourage of priest, assistants and RELA personnel.
Presenting the Ampang Nine Emperor Gods production of.... the Nutcracker Suite.... NOT. The Nine Emperor God dances as he goes through the opera stage.

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Ampang Nine Emperor Gods Festival 2015 - Day Two

The second day of Nine Emperor Gods Festival sees the invitation of the Finance Minister at Ampang Nan Tian Gong temple. This procession mirrors that of the Nine Emperor Gods invitation ceremony on the 12th of October, with the difference being the Finance Minister, Tian Fu Yuan Shuai is the deity invited this evening.
Fishy... Chinese love their fish. Here there are many fishes and a phoenix flying to the temple.

The other difference to this procession compared to that of the first one is that the energy levels seemed to be very high, and everyone seemed to be anxious to get the Finance Minister back to the temple. Well, who wouldn't want to be in the good books with the money guy? Especially in times of economic hardship, everyone must be praying hard that Tian Fu Yuan Shuai will bless them with money and more money...
Sushi or shashimi...
The cutest dragon and dragon dancers in town...
The palanquin leaving the temple.
The outriders for the gods do not have sirens nor flashing lights, just these plaques.
Hi ho, hi ho.. is off to the invitation we go. The ladies trooping down the road at the start of the invitation ceremony.

The number of visitors were much more too, due to the public holiday, as well as photographers, making it a mad dash for the best spot to see the happenings in the temple. So for those who prefer to see the procession at Ampang Nan Tian Gong Temple with less maddening crowd, the invitation ceremony for the Nine Emperor Gods is a far calmer, more restrained and regal in a way as compared to the invitation of the Finance Minister.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Nine Emperor Gods Festival 2015 - First Day @ Ampang

The first day of the festival at Ampang Nan Tian Gong Nine Emperor Gods temple started off as a quite day immersed in prayers and offerings. However, the mood became very festive after 6pm, probably due to the next day being a public holiday in Malaysia for Awal Muharram. By 8pm, the crowds were surging in, the opera blaring away and incense smoke pouring through the vents and doors of the temple.

Devoted to her prayers... she is a picture of calm in the sea of moving devotees in the temple.

Then a heavy downpour came and somewhat slowed everything down. It was more of a gridlock scenario as devotees crammed into whatever sheltered space available to avoid the rain. The crowd then slowly thins out as the night passes.
Peace (ie safety) wherever you go... a LED sign hanging from one of the stalls outside the temple.
Reciting prayers to the Nine Emperor Gods.
Yes or no.... the lady was throwing divination blocks to obtain an answer from the Nine Emperor Gods.
Tortoise buns with lucky lottery number - a popular offering in this festival.
The atmosphere of the temple at 7pm was rather quiet, as can be seen from this shot.
The crowds came around 8pm... you could hardly move through the road without elbowing someone.
A costume's equivalent of a bad hair day - Chinese opera actors and actresses were performing on stage.
Reflections - after a heavy downpour. It didn't dampen the spirits of the visitors and they continued on despite the wet ground full of puddles.

The second day will probably be more festive and crowded as there will be a procession at 7pm to invite the Finance Minister, Tian Fu Yuan Shuai.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

The Nine Emperor Gods are here

It ain't heavy, it is the Emperor Gods.... the palanquin that is supposedly used by the deities were being carried out for the ceremony.
On the 12th of October, the Ampang Nine Emperor Gods temple went out to invite the Nine Emperor Gods from a nearby river. The invitation ceremony and procession started at 7.35pm and the palanquin returned with the urn around 10pm. And so the festivities start... Huat ahhhh!
Fire, fire... - dragon joss sticks being lit with kerosene whilst the guy smokes.
Dragon ball... Dragon dances were performed as part of the ceremony and the procession to invite the Nine Emperor Gods - photo by Bob.
Taking out the plaques that announces the presence of the Emperor Gods - photo by Bob
Rock - a - bye Emperor Gods - the palanquin rocking to and fro as they move it from the temple. Devotees believe that the rocking indicates that the deities are present in the palanquin.

There will be another procession on Wed night (14 Oct 2015). However be prepared for a major crowd and traffic jam as it is a public holiday. Even now at 12am, the traffic is backed up to Spectrum at Ampang.


Sunday, October 11, 2015

Nine Emperor Gods Festival 2015 - The Preparation @ Ampang

The Nine Emperor Gods Festival is just around the corner, and many temples are no doubt, in the process of getting ready for the festival that starts on October 13th this year. At Ampang, the temple staff were busy cleaning up and getting things up and ready for the festival. So whilst there were many old things that were being spruced up, there is something new too at the temple for this year's celebration.... a new altar table!

The new altar weighs 4 tonnes in total, and is made from a base platform, two side blocks, two panels and a table top, all stone/granite. It was fun as well as many moments filled with trepidation as forklift, straps and manpower were used to assemble the altar table and getting all the parts aligned.
More... more... more..  Placing the table top of the new altar.
All done... were they discussing what 4D (lottery number) to buy???
The new altar... it ain't heavy, it is 4 tonnes!!!

Of course we cannot forget things that are old, and things that most of the devotees and visitors are familiar with at the temple like these photos below.
Divination blocks all stung up with new yellow string
Dragon pillar and light from the airwell.
Kids waiting for their ride home under the pagoda tower.
Here's something err.... 'old'... Cheryl Hoffmann all ready for photo action at the temple.
Kids having a little fun with joss-sticks that were hung up for sale.
The old signs used to direct vehicular traffic leaving the temple.

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Coming Up... Nine Emperor Gods Festival 2015

Ampang Nine Emperor Gods Festival, 安邦南天宫九皇爷
Yes, time files so quickly... It is almost that time of the year again, the time of Nine Emperor Gods Festival 2015. Here in Ampang, the famous Nine Emperor Gods Temple had already started the preparation for the festival a week ago.

Yesterday, the Lantern pole was taken out to the courtyard of the temple.... 

So get ready folks for nine days of vegetarian fair, smoky joss sticks, Chinese opera, clanging bells and lots of activity at Ampang Nine Emperor Gods Festival 2015. The first day of the festival falls on the 13th Oct 2015 and the ninth day is on the 21st of Oct 2015.

However, here at Ampang, the festivities start on the eve, 12th of Oct 2015 with the Lantern Pole raising (click for 2013's lantern pole raising ceremony) and then followed by the invitation in the evening that includes a procession.

So keep those dates free and do remember, here at Ampang Nine Emperor Gods Festival, the hustle and bustle starts in the evening and goes on till the early hours or the morning (like 3 - 4am).


  • 12 Oct 2015 - Eve of the festival (raising the lantern pole) and invitation of the Nine Emperor Gods in the evening (procession).
  • 13 Oct 2015 - First day of the festival
  • 14 Oct 2015 - Invitation of the Finance Minister (procession)
  • 21 Oct 2015 - Ninth day (last day) of the festival

Stay tuned for more fun images and happenings on this festival.

Links for 2015 Nine Emperor Gods Festival:

Monday, September 21, 2015

Yellow is... beautiful

There is just this strange attraction that the colour yellow has on this nation. From the royal colour to a 'reviled' protest, we seem to be attracted to all things yellow. And yellow Adeniums are of course, very popular.
Adenium Thong Yod (or Thong Yot) - golden drop. The yellow is strong, but takes on a greenish-chrome yellow tone. Well, still better than pale off-white yellows.

Despite the attractiveness of yellow adeniums, they all tend to have a major flaw, at least in our climate. The yellows tend to fade to cream or white, or never develops the intensity that is advertised when grown in say Taiwan or Thailand. However, the plus side of yellow blooms are that most of them are weakly fragrant or more so in some selected hybrids.
Adenium Yellow Premsup - a pale yellow aging to pink blush yellow.
Adenium Princess Fragrance - the scent is rather strong, especially as the flowers age.

I believe that this is due to pigments or pigment development that is temperature sensitive or controlled by temperature sensitive gene transcriptions. Some bicoloured reds are too, ranging from truly two-toned to just pure red depending on the temps that were prevalent when the buds were developing.
The two-tone petals of Adenium Vietnam Love appears to be temperature sensitive. Too warm and they turn all red.

Perhaps breeding of yellows could be done in Malaysia, and a strong persistent yellow form be found for our climate that doesn't fade away.

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Are you still hungry tonite?? Hungry Ghost Part 2

Before we move on to the Mooncake Festival, here are more shots of Hungry Ghost Festival...

Pandan Perdana, KL
Under my umbrella, ella ella - the lamps are the signpost to spirits that a 'feast' is on.
Colourful kuihs on the offering table.
A light for the souls - Tua Pek and a candle.
Huat ah, huat ah... kuih with the Chinese character 发 (發) meaning to bring forth ie bring forth good fortunes etc.

Pandan Mewah, Selangor
A leap of faith - A Taoist priest does the 'Breaking the Walls of Hell' ceremony for departed relatives.

Bukit Mertajam, Penang
I've got my eyes on you...
Hazed in...
Pray, pray, don't play play
I'll be back... next year.
Lim Jetty, Penang
A Chinese opera actor puts on make-up to perform for the spirits and humans.

 Jelutong West (Bukit Dumbar), Penang
The paper effigy of the King of Hades being carried off to be burnt.

Ampang Nine Emperor Gods Temple, Selangor
Offerings to the Hungry Ghost.
Not BR1M - priest giving out coins during the prayer ceremony.

Ampang Mewah, Selangor
A syncretic version where Amida Buddha and Taoist Pure Ones were worshipped in the festival.

Prayers for the spirits
Burn baby, burn... King of Hades and his retinue being sent off at the end of the ceremony.

Taman Desa Bakti Selayang, KL
Once in every three years, they will have a procession to 'cleanse' and appease the spirits at the roads.
Offering at road junctions.

Seng Hong Temple Brickfields, KL
Throw him down once more... Mediums playing with a bed of broken glass.
A medium in trance with Da Shi Ye, the King of Hades, blessing the plaque that he carries with blood from his cut tongue.
Sending off the King of Hades with the help of mediums.

That's all folks, see you next year... Like Arnie said "I'll be back!"