每年过了中秋,信奉道教的信徒就等着迎接九皇爷诞的到来。虽说九皇爷诞是从农历九月初一开始,一直到初九为止,但是,九皇爷诞在初十那天还有一个送神仪式。所以,它其实是一个为期十天的神诞庆典。

After the Mid Autumn Festival, Taoism devotees will prepare for the Nine Emperor Gods Festival. The Nine Emperor Gods Festival starts on the 1st day of 9th month  in lunar calendar and ends on the 10th day of the month. Hence, it’s a ten-day Taoism festival. On the last day, there’s a procession to send off the Emperor Gods.

九皇爷诞在福建、广东沿海地区和星马泰一带盛行,有好几个起源传说。较为普遍的有两个:

  1. 源自道教的北斗七星:传说北斗七星实为九星(其中二星为隐星),九皇爷就是九星的星君。
  2. 源自反清复明的义士:传说为纪念九个被处决的反清复明义士。

The Nine Emperor Gods Festival is quite common at the coastal area in Fujian and Guangdong, as well as Malaysia, Singapore, and Thailand. The origin of this festival has several versions. The most common ones are:

  1. From the Big Dipper: Taoists believe the Big Dipper has 9 stars instead of 7 stars (2 of the stars are invisible) and the Star Lords of the Big Dipper are the Nine Emperor Gods.
  2. From the anti-Qing activists: It commemorates the 9 anti-Qing activists who were killed by the Qing government.

九皇爷诞的高潮是初九这一天,因为信徒会在这一天过火坑。信徒必须一连九天茹素才能在初九这天过火坑,而且小孩和女人都不能参与。信徒过火坑时都必须赤着脚走火坑,走过火坑的信徒都说当时并不觉得痛,就像平时走路一样没什么感觉,相信是神明保佑才会如此。而且,他们都说九皇爷非常灵验,走过火坑都事事顺利,所以有很多信徒都陆续参与走火坑。

The 9th day of the festival is its climax because devotees will walk on the burning fire pathway. Devotees have to be vegetarians for 9 days during the festival in order to walk the fire pathway. However, children and ladies are not allowed to participate the firewalking. Devotees who participated before said that they did not feel pain during the firewalking and it’s similar with normal walking. They believe the God is blessing them and everything will go smooth after the firewalking. Hence, there are more and more devotees participate the firewalking.

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信徒一律穿白衣过火坑。
Devotees in white attire when they are in firewalking.

九皇爷诞期间还有戏班可看,只是在马来西亚不是潮戏就是闽戏。我即听不明潮州话,也听不懂闽南语福建话,所以只在乎于戏班演员的表情、功架和耍花枪。

During the Nine Emperor Gods Festival, Chinese opera is also arranged for performance. In Malaysia, the opera usually either in Teochew or in Hokkien dialects. I can’t understand both dialects and hence, I only watch the expression and fighting choreography.

在雪隆地区,位于安邦 Jalan Merdeka 的九皇爷南天宫是最为热闹、人最多的。每年都吸引几十万人来朝拜,就算不进庙里朝拜,都会在庙旁的戏台看看大戏,或逛逛四周玲琅满目的食物摊、玩具摊、传统工艺摊等等。

In Klang Valley, the most crowded one is Nine Emperor Gods Temple at Jalan Merdeka in Ampang. It attracts millions of people for worships every year. Although some people do not enter the temple for worships, they  will watch the Chinese opera show next to the temple, or walk the night market surrounding the temple.

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香火鼎盛的安邦九皇爷南天宫。
The Nine Emperor Gods Temple at Ampang is usually full of devotees.
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在庙里,少不了请师父写符咒。
In the temple, the devotees will usually ask for amulet.

在安邦九皇爷南天宫初九这一天,正殿前的空地都会用铁网围起来,以让晚上七点举行的过火坑能顺利进行。如果要拍摄过活坑场面,当然最好进入铁网里,可惜要进入里面必须在当天提前登记才可以,而且还得是位男性摄影师才可以。也就是说,女人是没办法进入铁网里的区域进行拍摄。因为有限制人数,所以有很多信徒和摄影师都被挡在铁网外观看过火坑活动。

On the 9th day of the festival, the empty space in front of the main hall of  Nine Emperor Gods Temple in Ampang will fence with wire mesh in order to hold the firewalking at 7pm safely and smoothly. However, photographers who wish to enter the fenced area have to pre-register and have to be men. That said, women have no chances at all to enter the area to snap photos. Not only that, they also limit the number of photographers to enter into the fenced area. Because of too many devotees and photographers, most of them have to stand outside to witness the firewalking.

注: 进入铁网区域拍摄过火坑需提前登记,登记名额一般下午五点前已填满。登记时需出示身份证,以证明是男性。没法登记就只好站外面拍了,建议自带爬梯或凳子之类的,不然在层层人海中是什么也看不到的,更别说要拍摄。

Notes: Photographers have to pre-register to enter fenced area for shooting firewalking. The registration usually will be ended before 5pm and have to show your identity card in order to proof that you are a man. If not able to register, then have to stand outside to shoot. Recommend to bring your own ladder or stool, else you won’t be able to see anything or shoot any photos.

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因为人数丛多,摄影师和信徒都冒险爬木梯观看过火坑。
Because of too many people, some photographers and devotees have to take risk in climbing the ladders to watch firewalking.
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过火坑。
Firewalking.

马来西亚的戏班都很友善,一般都允许摄影师拍摄。如果要拍摄戏班,必须注意以下几点:-

  1. 戏班有很多禁忌的,最好不要乱碰戏班的东西。
  2. 戏班演员不会迎合摄影师的要求摆姿势、抬头、或什么的。尤其是他们在化妆的时候,偏偏这是摄影师最喜欢捕抓的瞬间。不是说不可以拍,而是别在这时候打扰他们聚精会神地化妆,叫他们看这里看那里,抬头低头啊,把化妆笔拿高拿低啊等等。。。这都是让戏班们最讨厌的。
  3. 如果戏班开始过后还想留在后台拍摄,请留些空间让戏班们出入、跑位、换衣等。因为在演出期间,戏班演员都是分秒必争,快速跑位的,偏偏有许多摄影师挡住后台去路!你说,这些摄影师是不是会让戏班们生气?

The Malaysian Chinese opera troupes are very friendly, they usually allow photographers to take photos. However, the photographers have to aware of these:-

  1. The opera troupe has a lot of taboos, please do not touch any things belong to the opera troupe.
  2. The opera singers do not like photographers ask them to pose, especially when they are making up. Unfortunately, this is the moment that most of the photographers would like to snap photos. I won’t say can’t take photos, but please don’t disturb them when they are focusing in makeup, don’t ask them look here look there, or look up look down, or take the makeup pencil higher lower……these are the requirements that the opera singers hate the most when they are making up!
  3. If you like to stay at the backstage for photograph, please give a space for opera singers go in and out, or run, or change clothes. This is because during the performance, the opera singers usually have to rush in-and-out. Unfortunately, many photographers block the way at the backstage! These photographers really will make them angry!
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花着妆的戏班演员。Opera singer/ actor making up.
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个人非常佩服戏班演员,化妆戴头饰全是一个人包办,还要演、唱、跳、打。而且,后台都很闷热,演员们得在后台待几个小时才去表演,通常在表演前已汗流浃背了。
I really admire the opera actors. They have to makeup themselves, then have to act, sing, jump, and fight during the performance. Moreover, they have to spend hours at the backstage that is very hot. Usually, they are sweating before the performance.
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花旦整理头饰。
Finishing with hair accessories.
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出演前,戏班演员整理头饰。
The opera actor is wearing hair accessories before the performance.
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在安邦南天宫出演的闽戏戏班来自安顺。图中穿蓝衣的武生,是戏班里最年长的,但却是最会唱、最会打、动作最利落、表情最丰富的,果然姜还是老的辣。
The Chinese opera troupe that performed in the temple at Ampang came from Teluk Intan. The opera actor in blue shirt is the oldest one, but he’s the best actor among all. He does not only sing well, his facial expression is fabulous and his fighting action is also the fastest.
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耍花枪。
A fighting scene.
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戏班演员要唱得和打得,还要会打鼓,必要时需帮忙乐手。
The opera actor has to sing and do fighting action, and has to know how to play drum too. Sometimes, actors have to help drumming during performance.
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从后台拍摄的一张照片。
From the backstage.
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一番表演后,武生在后台趁下一场表演前休息。
The opera actor resting at the backstage after performance before the next one.

是不是很奇怪为何放了那么多的戏班照片?因为,身为女生的我不能进入铁网区里拍过火坑场面。而且 ,女生在初九当天一律禁止进入正殿。再加上信众太多,香火实在是超超超鼎盛,我的眼睛都被香熏得直流泪水,根本没法子待太久,结果就走到戏台那边拍戏班和演员们交流谈天。

As I’m a lady, I can’t really enter the fenced area to shoot firewalking. Moreover, ladies are not allowed to enter the main hall on the 9th day of festival. The devotees are too many, the area surrounding the temple is full with incense smoke too. Hence, I couldn’t stay longer at the temple area and made a move to performance stage to shoot Chinese opera troupe and spoke with the opera actors.

安邦九皇爷南天宫交通:

  1. RapiKL 巴士:搭300 (即RapidKL整顿路线前的U30) 号或 T301(之前的U29) 号的巴士即可到达。
  2. 轻快铁:最近的轻快铁车站是 Cahaya station,从车站走过去约 20 分钟。不过,沿途缺乏路灯,最好结伴同行。
  3. 自驾:可把车停泊在南天宫对面的停车场,节日期间的收费越 RM5 一辆车。

Transportation to Nine Emperor Gods Temple in Ampang:

  1. RapidKL Bus: Take bus number 300 (the formerly U30 before RapidKL revamped its bus route) or T301 (the formerly U29).
  2. LRT: The nearest station is Cahaya station. From the LRT station, walk about 20 minutes to reach the temple. However, there is no street light along the way, so better walk in a group.
  3. Self-drive: Can park the car at the open parking space opposite the temple. During the festival, the parking will cost about RM5 per car per entry.

 

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