Friday, February 08, 2008

Say a Prayer

We are not exactly devout believers of Chinese Folk Religions, but we went to the temple for prayers on the Lunar New Year.


Guang Fu Temple (广福宫) is one of the most popular temples in Alor Star. I never enjoyed my experience there because the smoke from the incense suffocates me badly.


For me, burning joss sticks is more of a symbolic gesture than any other thing. It symbolises hope, dedication and sincerity.


However, I am not too sure what it means to this granny. All that harboured in the gigantic stick could be her wholehearted wishes for the wellbeing of her family. Or the prosperity of the country.


Lotus candles, yet another way of conveying wishes to the Gods.


When a family does it together, you feel the harmony.


To wrap up the ceremony, one lights the paper money...


... and hopes that the well-wishes reach the Gods through the flames.


Note: I am using poetic license in the description above. It's not meant to be a perfect depiction of the meaning and implication of various ceremonies.

13 comments:

Jyue Loh said...

Wow,had u ever taken photography course? I know where is 广福宫,somewhere in Simpang Kuala, right?

Ren Jie said...

Chang Yang, you have really good photography skills!!!

Anonymous said...

trying to imagine how is it like when someone carries his expensive camera in the temple, taking random shots.

there are 100 ways to destroy your camera there.....hahaha....

YP

changyang1230 said...

Jyue: Yeah it's in Simpang Kuala. Haha I have never taken any photography course before but I am indeed interested in photography and do read quite a bit about it during my free time.

Ren Jie: Aiyo don't say like that, it's nothing compared to the real experts. :)

YP: EEW. I went during off-peak hour la, so not too many people there. If there was a people-mountain-people-sea of people there I might not have taken pictures at all.

day-dreamer said...

Ah, that temple. Indeed very suffocating when there's a lot of people. Can be temporarily blinded there.

I like the lotus candle shot. Very nice. :)

changyang1230 said...

Haha yeah, but this time around it has improved a lot. They now have people who remove all the "planted" joss sticks within five minutes, and the ventilation fan is working pretty well there. It's not as suffocating as what it was like a few years ago. :)

It's interesting to see that different people prefer different kind of shots. My sister disliked the candle shot but liked the family shot, and my personal favourite is actually the last one. Hah. :P

Anonymous said...

Just another post to show off your SLR and its results. Haha.

You are truly a great cam whore!

Cheeerrss.

WK

yih voon said...

Ah Yang, i like your post with lots of photos like this. Besides, you can label your photos with names as trademark like what kennysia do:)

lasilasi said...

ahhhh i really really want a dslr too.... awesome pcitures! and do watermark them!

changyang1230 said...

WK: EEW.

Yih Voon: Haha kamsia. A bit lazy to watermark, also feel that it spoils the image. But may consider it in the future, if my pictures become good enough to be stolen:P

lasilasi: Thanks!

lchxian said...

Greetings! From another blogger/medic/photographer...

Like the photo of the Ah Poh with big joss stick! Nice angle, taking the shot from above.

Should have ask the 2 people in the background to leave... then this will be good enough for National Geography.

changyang1230 said...

Hi! Haha I didn't even know the Ah Poh, so it's impossible to ask her to stay there while I ask the two people to leave... :P Thanks for your comments!

chenghiang said...

CY,
When you visit Sydney, take a look at this temple in Glebe. :) Pretty interesting to find a old chinese temple in Sydney.

http://chenghiang.wordpress.com/2008/05/06/sze-yup-guanti-temple-sydney/