Friday, 21 February 2014

Johor Bahru Chingay 2014 柔佛古廟出游 Johor Kaki Tribute to the Spirit of Johor

Johor-Bahru-Chingay-2104-柔佛古廟出游
Photo credit with thanks to Hanks Lai

Chingay 古廟游神 or 柔佛古廟眾神出游 is the most important event among Chinese in Johor during Chinese New Year. For Chinese in Johor, Chinese New Year celebrations ends only after Chingay 游神 (not Chap Goh Meh for Chinese everywhere else).

Johor-Bahru-Chingay-2104-柔佛古廟出游

The Chingay which is conducted over 5 days, starts and ends at the Johor Old Temple 柔佛古廟 at Jalan Trus, which is the spiritual centre for most Chinese in Johor.

Johor Old Temple 柔佛古廟 is the symbol of harmony and unity among Chinese in Johor. In the 1800s, after decades of rivalry, the 5 Chinese clans in Johor Bahru (Cantonese, Teochew, Hokkien, Hainanese and Hakka) decided to make peace. As a symbol of unity 五帮共和, the 5 clans decided to build a shared temple and house their deities together in the Johor Old Temple 柔佛古廟. 

Construction of the temple was completed in 1870.

The 5 deities of the 5 clans at Johor Old Temple are:
  1. Xuan Tian Shang Di  元天上帝 (大老爷) Teochew deity
  2. Hong Xian Da Di  洪仙大帝 Hokkien deity
  3. Gan Tian Da Di  感天大帝 Hakka deity
  4. Hua Guang Da Di  华光大帝 (二郎神) Cantonese deity
  5. Zhao Da Yuan Shuai  赵大元帅 (玄坛爷) Hainanese deity.
The Chingay is conducted from 18th to 22nd day of first lunar month (5 days) with main activities on the 19th to 21st days (3 days):

Day 1. Light up ceremony at Xing Gong 行宫亮灯仪式 (18th day of first lunar month)

Day 2. Street cleansing and mounting of deities (请神上轿) on holy sedans (19th day of first lunar month)

Day 3. Deities leaving Johor Old Temple 出廟 or 出鑾 and carried on holy sedans to Xing Gong 行宫 (20th day of first lunar month)

Day 4. Procession 巡游 or 游神 or 出游 (21st day of first lunar month) which is considered the highlight.

Day 5. Deities return to Johor Old Temple 回廟 or 回銮 (22nd day of first lunar month)

This is the 10 km route taken for the Chingay processions which run through the busy streets of downtown Johor Bahru.

Johor-Bahru-Chingay-2104-柔佛古廟出游
Photo credit with thanks to Johor Old Temple

Day 118th day of first lunar month (17 Feb 2014)

Light up ceremony at Xing Gong 行宫 off Jalan Ayer Molek. Xing Gong is a temporary place for the deities chosen because it is spacious and allows more worshipers to offer their prayers.

Day 2 - 19th day of first lunar month (18 Feb 2014)

Johor-Bahru-Chingay-2104-柔佛古廟出游
Photo credit with thanks to 歡樂假期

Street washing ceremony to cleanse the 10 km route for the procession.

Johor-Bahru-Chingay-2104-柔佛古廟出游
Photo credit with thanks to Johor Old Temple

At Johor Old Temple, the deity mounting 请神上轿 ceremony in progress.

Johor-Bahru-Chingay-2104-柔佛古廟出游
Photo credit with thanks to Johor Old Temple

Teams of men from the 5 clans carry the deity from the altar to the holy sedan 神轿. The men carefully secure the deity on the sedan for the parade between Johor Old Temple and Xing Gong.

Johor-Bahru-Chingay-2104-柔佛古廟出游
Click on photo to watch the YouTube video

Johor-Bahru-Chingay-2104-柔佛古廟出游
Photo credit with thanks to Jayson Ang

The men completed tying the shoulder pads on the holy sedan. The deities and sedan remain at Johor Old Temple till the next day.

Day 3 - 20th day of first lunar month (19 Feb 2014)


Johor-Bahru-Chingay-2104-柔佛古廟出游
Photo credit with thanks to Alvin Lim

The deities move from Johor Old Temple to Xing Gong.

Johor-Bahru-Chingay-2104-柔佛古廟出游
Photo credit with thanks to Sunflower Love

Johor-Bahru-Chingay-2104-柔佛古廟出游
Photo credit with thanks to Hanks Lai

Thousands of people thronged the Xing Gong 行宫 temple to offer their prayers to the five deities.

Johor-Bahru-Chingay-2104-柔佛古廟出游
Photo credit with thanks to Kenny Seah

People jammed inside Xing Gong 行宫 but everything is very orderly. 

Johor-Bahru-Chingay-2104-柔佛古廟出游
Photo credit with thanks to Hanks Lai

Worshipers are treated to colourful traditional opera performances from the 5 different clans. The operas are also offerings to the deities.

Johor-Bahru-Chingay-2104-柔佛古廟出游
Photo credit with thanks to KK Lew

Johor-Bahru-Chingay-2104-柔佛古廟出游
Photo credit with thanks to Lewin Kee

Offering of incense and prayers.

Johor-Bahru-Chingay-2104-柔佛古廟出游
Photo credit with thanks to Johnny Leong

Volunteer marshals help the police to maintain order at the procession through the streets of Johor Bahru involving a million people.

Day 4 - 21st day of first lunar month (20 Feb 2014) is the day of the procession from Xing Gong through the streets of JB and back to Xing Gong - a round trip journey of about 10 km.


Johor-Bahru-Chingay-2104-柔佛古廟出游
Photo credit with thanks to Johnny Leong

The start of the street procession with the deities leaving Xing Gong on holy sedans carried by teams of men.

Johor-Bahru-Chingay-2104-柔佛古廟出游
Photo credit with thanks to Heng Chiang Hong

Johor-Bahru-Chingay-2104-柔佛古廟出游
Photo credit with thanks to Jayson Ang

The deities on holy sedans carried through the streets of Johor Bahru.

Johor-Bahru-Chingay-2104-柔佛古廟出游
Photo credit with thanks to KK Lew

Johor-Bahru-Chingay-2104-柔佛古廟出游
Photo credit with thanks to 歡樂假期

Johor-Bahru-Chingay-2104-柔佛古廟出游
Photo credit with thanks to Hanks Lai

During the street procession, the holy sedan with the deity is rocked vigorously from side to side. According to tradition, the stronger the rock, the greater the blessing.

Johor-Bahru-Chingay-2104-柔佛古廟出游
Photo credit with thanks to KK Lew

Johor-Bahru-Chingay-2104-柔佛古廟出游
Photo credit with thanks to Hanks Lai

As they rock the sedan, the men shout "Heng ah! Huat ah!" for good luck and good fortune.

Along the route of the procession of deities, troops of performers and floats entertain the deities and also the thousands of people watching the parade.

Johor-Bahru-Chingay-2104-柔佛古廟出游
Photo credit with thanks to Johor Old Temple

There is traditional lion dance.

Johor-Bahru-Chingay-2104-柔佛古廟出游
Photo credit with thanks to Sunflower Love

Dragon dancers.

Johor-Bahru-Chingay-2104-柔佛古廟出游
Photo credit with thanks to Sunflower Love

Johor-Bahru-Chingay-2104-柔佛古廟出游
Photo credit with thanks to Sunflower Love

Johor-Bahru-Chingay-2104-柔佛古廟出游
Photo credit with thanks to Sunflower Love

Johor-Bahru-Chingay-2104-柔佛古廟出游
Photo credit with thanks to KK Lew

Other deities to accompany the Big 5.

Johor-Bahru-Chingay-2104-柔佛古廟出游
Photo credit with thanks to Sunflower Love

General 岳飞 a deity known for his loyalty.

Johor-Bahru-Chingay-2104-柔佛古廟出游
Photo credit with thanks to Zenith Chan

Popular actor Ryan Lee from the hit movie 一路有你 was spotted at the parade by his fans.

Johor-Bahru-Chingay-2104-柔佛古廟出游
Photo credit with thanks to Rachel Phoa

Chingay is a carnival day out with friends.

Johor-Bahru-Chingay-2104-柔佛古廟出游
Photo credit with thanks to Anthrea Tan

Johor people working in Singapore, Kuala Lumpur and other places return to Johor Bahru to take part in the festivities and as supporters. It's a time of reunion and for reaffirming old friendship ties.

At the end of the procession, the deities are returned to Xing Gong 行宫. 

Day 5 - 22nd day of first lunar month (21 Feb 2014) is the day of the deities' return to the Johor Old Temple 眾神回銮.


Johor-Bahru-Chingay-2104-柔佛古廟出游
Photo credit with thanks to Johor Old Temple

With the deities back at their niches at Johor Old Temple, the Chingay ceremony and Chinese New Year celebrations are complete.

5 comments:

  1. A comprehensive write-up. Well done! Note that all gods are rocked except the last deity, Tua lauya. Taken care by the Teochews, he wd sum up the entire parade.

    It used to be that on e 22nd day, when the gods return to the temple, all 4 other gods hv to wait outside the temple for him to arrive, b4 they can go into e temple, as a form of respect.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you BearBear. Appreciate the additional information.

      Delete
  2. Hua Guang da di is not Er lang Shen. There are a few 3rd Eyed deities in Chinese Taoism.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Can you tell me when is the Johor 古庙游神 (Day 4. Procession 巡游 or 游神 or 出游 (21st day of first lunar month) which is considered the highlight) in year 2015 ?


    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Mar 11 wed night procession

      Delete

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