Monday, May 3, 2010

Loyang Tua Pek Gong Temple

Yes, I know, I know… I have written about Loyang Tua Pek Gong Temple before. The other time, it was my brother who visited the place. One fine day last year, I finally found an opportunity to visit the temple with my family.
I should have posted them early, but I have been busy. Anyway , better late than never. Here are the photos:
Loyang Tua Pek Gong temple is obviously located at Loyang. Where is that, I hear some of you all asked. Well, it is at the extreme east side of Singapore near Pasir Ris. Not sure if you can take MRT, but there is a bus stop, located not far away from the temple which make that place quite accessible.
A bit lame, but Judy Garland followed the Yellow Brick Road to reach land of Oz. You, on the other hand, can followed the yellow flagged pathway which will leads you to the famed temple!

Still worry that you might missed the flagged pathway and got lost. That is mission impossible… The temple can be easily seen on the left of the pathway. 
After a good five minute walk, I reached the temple. The first thing that catches your eye would be the stone wall side profile of the temple.

It was 2009 when I visit the place – the year of Ox. Maybe that is why there is this huge copper statue of Ox resting at the pond.

At the entrance, we were greeted by this two story high pagoda-like structure. It is actually a furnace for devotees to burn their incense papers in.
A bit of explanation for those who do not know – Other than praying with Joss Stick, many Chinese religions like Taoism had the practise of burning incense paper. Incense paper comes in various colours, sizes and patterns, but printed with charms-like wording. It is believed that one will received blessing when the papers are burned. It is almost like an purifying act that fire will rid bad luck for whoever that is praying. 
At last, the beautiful signboard which read “Loyang Da Po Gong” or “Loyang Tua Pek Gong” as pronounce in Hokkien, a Chinese dialect.
I think many young people may find Chinese praying rituals a bit daunting. It seems like there are many rules to adhere to and can be quite a handful for people who have never done it before.
Well, to help more people understand the intricacies of Chinese praying rituals, Loyang Tua Pak Gong came up with a very good solution. They categorised each items with numbers i.e. which item make a complete set with which item. They even labeled which deity you can pray to with the set of items.
I explained before. Many traditional Chinese buildings are often decorated with mythical creatures like Dragon, Qilin, Bats. These mythical creatures have auspicious connotations. By decorating objects and buildings with the creatures, Chinese believed that having them they will be blessed. The above is a metal incense burner which is decorated with a dragon sculpture. 
A Taoist temple. The place also hosts a few deities. As with all things, there are protocol order of which deity one should pray before the other. Sound quite confusing right? Fret not, innovative Loyang Tua Pek Gong foresee the potential problem, thus they come up with this little name plate to tell you at this “station”, which god deity you are praying to and how many joss stick to use.
Now now, praying is much simpler and less confusing already isn’t it?
Back view of the incense burner

Actually, Loyang Tua Pek Gong temple is famous for granting devotees with winning 4D numbers. In this picture, we see another ox statue with miniature 11 other zodiac animals. Those numbers scribbling are not vandalism, but devotees’ 4D numbers. They are scribbled there in hope that deity will bless the numbers and grant them a fortune.
Another one of the number blessing station. This time in form of a golden ingot.
Interestingly, Loyang Tua Pek Gong had a food station. They provide free vegetarian food for all. I had a serving too. Bee Hoon and Curry vegetables, taste ok.

We often read news of religious conflict in many countries. In Singapore, we are fortunate that people in a way understand each other’s religion practises and remained tolerant. Here in the temple, there is actually a small Hindu temple

Like the one at Waterloo Street, there is no restriction as to who can enter the Hindu temple. As long as one wishes to make a prayer, he/she can just enter the temple and pray (without footwear).

So if you happened to be at the East area next time, do drop by and visit the temple.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

How do we go to this temple from Pasir Ris?