Nine Emperor Gods 九王爷

Nine Emperor Gods 九王爷

Each year, from the first to the ninth day of the 9th Chinese Lunar Month, from Phuket in Thailand, through Penang and Kuala Lumpur to Singapore, the 9 Emperor Gods temples are abuzz with thousands of devotees going vegetarian as they receive the 9 Emperor Gods (九王爷 Jiu Wang Ye) from the water (in rivers or the sea) to bring them to the temple to have nine days of celebrations.

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Some temples would use the divining blocks to request for the right date to invite the 9 Emperor Gods. Others would go to the waterfront on the eve of the 1st of the 9th Lunar Month to invite the 9 Emperor Gods. It is a time when the men would form teams to be the bearers of the palanquins that will carry the spirit of the 9 Emperor Gods back to the temple, go visiting temples and then sending them off to the waterfront again on the 9th evening. Because of the weight of the palanquins, each team could be as big as 50 men. In the past, these men would go on a 49 day diet of vegetables (non-meat) with separate crockery and even separate rooms to sleep in.

The festival of the 9 Emperor Gods is a unique festival shared by three countries of ASEAN (as I know).

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