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Taiping Nine Emperor Gods Procession 2012

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One of the highlights of the Nine Emperor Gods festival is a procession along the busy streets of the town where all the deities are carried by devotees in beautiful decorated floats or sedan chairs. Devotees wait at their homes for the procession to pass by. Many more line the streets to watch the faithful men and women dressed in colorful costumes of the various deities. The Nine Emperor Gods Festival is a nine-day Taoist celebration beginning on the eve of 9th lunar month of the Chinese calendar. It's one of the major religious festivals in Malaysia as well as many Southeast Asian countries like Thailand, Myanmar, and Singapore. On the eve of the ninth moon, temples of the deities hold a ceremony to invoke and welcome the nine emperors. Since the arrival of the gods are believed to be through the waterways, processions are held from temples to the sea-shore or river to symbolize this belief. Devotees dressed in traditional white, carrying incense and candles, await the arrival of their excellencies. A carnival-like atmosphere pervades the temple throughout the nine-day festival. During this period of time, the constant tinkling of a prayer bell and chants from the temple priests are heard. Most devotees stay at the temple, eat vegetarian meals and recite continuous chanting of prayer. It is believed that there will be rain throughout the nine days of celebration. The ninth day of the festival is its climax. A procession which draws scores of devotees send the deities back home.
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