This is the time of the year again for the Nine Emperor Gods Festival in Ampang


I didn’t realize that this is the time of the year again for the celebration of Nine Emperor Gods Festival until I was told by my eldest sister today. Mid-Autumn Festival for the year was over two weeks ago, and that means now is already the ninth month of Chinese lunar calendar. The first nine days of the month will be dedicated to the Nine Emperor Gods Festival annually. And so, I realized I missed the chance to observe the festival’s parade yesterday’s night.

On the eve of the festival, there would be a parade conducted to ‘welcome’ the deities of the legendary Nine Emperor Gods. It consists of multi-colored flag displays, drums with lion and dragon dances, physically-challenging performances, and series of beautifully-lit and decorated trucks, etc. It is watched annually by massive crowd lining up the road in Ampang’s new village, leading up to the Nine Emperor Gods Temple. The last time I watched the parade was like four or five years ago.

Today, right after dinner, we went to visit the temple for the festival that started today and will ends in nine days as mentioned earlier. The place is best to visit at night as it would not be that hot and that the surrounding atmosphere would be much happening at night due to presence of night market around the temple which is able to attract more people of younger demographics in recent years. All that leads to crazier traffic congestion along the narrow roads leading to the temple. That is expected.

The temple’s icon must be the main altar building full of intricate traditional Chinese design flanked with two pagoda towers. Last year’s appearance of the towers during the festival looked much appealing with the colour-changing lights. This year, it stays to its traditional plain lighting, and I wonder why. It’s full of people, and I sneaked into the main altar to pray for a short moment before leaving with my shirt covered with smell of smoke and ashes, and also eyes feeling uncomfortable by the excessive burning of joss sticks. People are pushing to enter into the main altar.

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Eventhough Nine Emperor Gods Festival is not considered a major Chinese festival, but it does receives continuous attention every year and its popular temple in Ampang is certainly prepared to welcome huge crowd of people (and I’m one of them) at this time of the year.

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