Saturday, October 11, 2014

Kow Wong Yeh or 9 God Festival.

I have stayed in Kuala Lumpur for more than 30 years, I am a Chinese, (or rather a Malaysian with Chinese ethnic origin) but I am sorry to tell you that I am not exposed to the 9 God festival, because I come from a small town called Batu Pahat and there, I think, the Festival is not celebrated, so I do not know anything about it!!! It is quite big in Penang and KL, judging by the newspapers write up about it!!

 Me and Kim, the Korean, and the rest of the IWAKL ladies are in a bus headed for Ampang where the festival is on its 8th day.

 this is the temple, situated on Jalan 3 in Ampang New Village.
 Our tour guide Angie Ng from Heritage Travel and Tours who gave a us a running commentary on the festival, just as well, because I am just as bewildered as the international ladies!!! hehe

 this is the Ampang New Village...I must confess too, that I did not know Ampang had a new village (a remnant of the Emergency days in the 60s), and Ampang is so near to Cheras where I stayed for many years.

 wow!!! we international ladies making a grand entrance, they, lah.. not we, I am a local lady haha!
We have reached the entrance of the temple!

 the arch...I have enlarged it so you can read the words, which I think means Southern Sky Hall, right?

Outside the temple, lots of stalls were selling lots of stuff, here they are selling special ginger!

 and of course, mi ku or tortoise flour (dough) to be offered as prayers
 If not for the tropical heat, I would think I am in China because the place was swarming with Chinese descent Malaysians everywhere

 a mother tortoise with baby tortoises hitching a denotes longevity, fertility and family togetherness, I think
words like luck, filial piety, and other virtues are written on the buns and you can buy these, complete with flowers to offer with your prayers, I bought a pair of yellow mi ku, not for prayers but as a momento of my trip here.
so cute, right? only RM6,  I hope it signifies  a loving, lasting and beautiful relationship with my HONEY........!!!!
Angie, being a regular tour guide here, had the privilege of bringing  us into the temple kitchen to show us how large meals for vegetarians are prepared everyday, free for the devotees!

giant vats for brewing tea!!!!
 you are now inside the largest kitchen since Pudu jail (well, that is what the kitchen reminds me of, the kitchen at the jail where they cooked food in giant kwalis for all the inmates....this Ah Soh is very sporting, she gave me the V sign! 

Volunteers who cannot donate money offer their time to peel, cut and cook extremely large quantities of food like yam, potatoes, etc, etc for streams of people who come to pray and out of towners who stay the whole 9 days.
 look at the amount of food, I mean waste,..
not only do they have to prepare food and cook, they also need to clear  up the waste!
cooked food in buckets, self service! after all the food is free...
 then we had to come here to donate RM10

 Kim the Korean posing after donating her 10

 Me the Malaysian after I had donated my 10

awesome altar

 deity on the door of the temple
Next I will show you how they pray..
 Young chinese women in full concentration, one of the sticks must drop form the container they are shaking to foretell whatever they are seeking

 the other woman's stick has dropped and she has gone to have it read and interpreted, this woman is still shaking hers, note the offerings bought by the other devotees

 some pray with joss sticks and josspapers
 some bow and prostrate themselves, forehead touching the ground
(some Muslims do that too)
women in white are the ones who stay in the hostel
 the dormitory or hostel where men from all over Malaysia come and stay for the duration of the 9 days of the festival, note the numbers on the foot of the bed! (RM28 for 9 days) (separate dorms are available too for women)
 The beds are very close to each other and there are no mattresses!!!
we sat at the food of the "beds" while Angie gave us instructions on what to do with the talismans that we got for the RM10 donation
Then she took us to the balcony to see the re filling of the lamps of the 9 gods
on our way out, we saw the chariots that will be used to transport the 9 gods to be sent off
Tomorrow night, the 9th day, there will be men walking on fire, and a procession to send the deities off.

To round off our visit, we had Yong Tau foo lunch at  Restoran Orchard View Yong Tau Foo!
 outside the restaurant, there was a stall selling roast duck at RM36 for a whole duck!!!
yummy and cheap!! The roast duck lasted us dinner and lunch the next day hehe!!!

 authentic stuffed tau foo that Ampang is famous for...
 fried wantan and fish cake
 soup wantan or dumplings
 white stuffed tofu, eggplant and ladies fingers
 alas, the international do not really take to such food, and we had to ta-pau the food!!!!
 they also do not have a taste for the lemon lime and sour plum drink that Angie ordered for all!
 exotic lemon lime with sour plum!!! hahaha...all were untouched!
they asked for plain lemonade instead!

No comments: