Chingay Johor Bahru 2018 (5-9th March)

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Within the Johor Old Chinese Temple in Jalan Trus, there lives five deities, each worshipped by one of the five dialect-based clans in Johor Bahru. This set-up is unusual as most deities tend to live alone. But, in the 1860s, Sultan Abu Bakar gave land to the Chinese community on which to build a temple, provided that it housed the deities of all the five dialect-based clans. The aim was to foster cooperation and harmony between the different Chinese clans since all disputes would be dealt with within this temple complex. So, Tan Hiok Nee (the head of the Ngee Heng Kongsi, a Chinese business association) was put in charge of building the temple. Sultan Abu Bakar also granted the Chinese a piece of land for a burial ground along Jalan Ngee Heng, and it is near here that the Xing Gong is erected each year.

          Yuan Tian Shang Di (Teochew)                                                                    Hua Guang Da Di (Cantonese)

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               Gan Tian Da Di (Hakka)                                                                          Hong Xian Da Di (Hokkein)

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                                                                 Zhao Da Yuan Shuai (Hainanese)

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Once a year, in the first month of the Lunar New Year, these deities are taken out of the temple and are paraded around the city to bless it with peace, harmony, and prosperity.  The three-day temple festival is known as Chingay and it is preceeded by two days of activities. The events relating to these five days are described in the following pages. My thanks to the manager of the Chinese Heritage Museum who gave me a copy of a booklet ‘Chingay 2006’, which helped provide some extra background details of this festival.

Here is a video of the five days, and below you can click through to my blogs for each individual day.

Click here for a summary of the Chingay Schedule.

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© Helen Gray 2020