Monday, February 16, 2009

Procession of the deities 古庙众神出游

It has more than hundred years history and the biggest event of Johor Baru. It attracted hundred of thousands of spectators and is the world biggest Chinese deity procession second to Matzu procession in Taiwan.

I normally avoid crowded place but decided to go with my family for this year's Johor Baru Old Temple grand procession of five deities worshipped separately by clans of Teochew, Hokkien, Hakka, Hainan and Guangdong.

The procession would start in the evening but we selected a strategic spot to view the procession as early as 5:00 pm. An atmosphere of festivity filled the air. Cars parked along the roads of procession and families brought chairs, food, snacks and drinks for the occasion. The crowd swelled as it got closer to the evening.

With flashing lights of Police escort, loud drumbeats and shouts of joy, the procession started at about 7:30pm. Hundreds and hundreds of people followed closely behind each deity. It was a show of colours, lights, sounds, culture and piety.

The route covered the town journeying almost 10 kms and took more than 5 hours to complete. It was a sign of unity among the clans and people of Johor Baru. (more pics & video at bottom)


我通常都不大喜欢参与有人潮的场合,但这次决定跟随家人参加今年的新山古庙众神出游盛事。古庙供奉着潮州 、闽南 、客家 、海南及广肇五个籍贯膜拜的神明。

游行在傍晚开始,但我们提早在下午五点就到游行必经之路线,找到了一个极佳地点,对游行行列一目了然。越来越多的车辆,渐渐的停满在路旁。场面是充满了节日气氛,人们携带椅子 、食物 、 零食 、饮料等来助兴,大家的心情都轻松快乐。 随着太阳西下,人潮也越来越多了。

在警车闪等的护航下,一阵阵的锣鼓声及高声呼喊下,游行在傍晚七时半正式开始了。成群成群上百的信徒,跟随在每个神像,花车之後,前推后涌,好像波浪式的向前推进。这是一项缤纷灿烂 、声色俱全 、充满文化及宗教气息的活动。


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