Tuesday, March 29, 2011

White Torch Ginger (Etlingera elatior)

Right next to our Red Torch Ginger (Etlingera elatior) is our White Torch Ginger (Etlingera elatior) and both plants look very similar. The plant was also from TK's brother, Hoo in Miri. 

Actually, we were not sure what type of ginger it was and it only started flowering recently (after some 2 years?). So it was a very pleasant surprise to see the flower buds coming up ... as we were told that it is rather rare.

It is a beautiful flower - snow white with a tinge of yellow at the base of the petals. 

If you have a large garden, even though both the red and white ginger flowers do take up a lot of space, they are both highly recommended for the corners at the end of the garden.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Yellow Butterfly Ginger

I have previously posted on the white butterfly ginger (Hedychium coronarium var. coronarium) and mentioned that there are other varieties of this beautiful frgrant flower.

In the garden, we had the yellow butterfly ginger (H. coronarium var. coronarium) as a small tiny offset. It is now 3' tall and in bloom - producing flowers that are just as fragrant as the white butterfly ginger but even better with the yellow centre in the flowers.

Do make sure you have one in the garden!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

The Glorious Rangoon Creeper

As mentioned before, the Rangoon Creeper (Quisqualis indica) is one of my favourite creeper for its showy flowers and subtle fragrance. This plant in our  garden certainly did not disappoint!


Don't you think you want one in your garden?  Find a sunny spot! If you have small garden as in our previous PJ home,  it does pretty well in a well drained pot.

Propagation is by cuttings - you need to use cuttings from firm new growths. Use a rooting powder and keep the cuttings out of the sun in a moist shady spot. Some people use bags to keep the cuttings misted.


Monday, March 7, 2011

壽山亭 (Shou Shan Ting) or 大伯公廟 (Da Bo Gong Temple) Part 2 Selection of Temple Committee

Part of the  the temple celebrations also included the ritual selection of the new members of the Temple Committee to handle the temple affairs from the 3rd to the 8th Lunar Months. The Temple Committee comprised of the 爐主 (Master of the Incense Pot) and five 頭家 (Headmen).

Only the names of Chinese businesses can be submitted for selection as committee members. Personal names are not permitted. Other than this there is no restriction with respect to sex, clans or dialects.The owners of the businesses selected will be the new committee members.

It may be of interest to note that the current 爐主 (Master of the Incense Pot) is a lady who is also a biochemist/accountant with her own biotechnology firm.

The setting for the prayers to select the  new temple committee. with a row of vegetarian dried food....

The Altar all set for the selection to begin ...

The current batch of committee members and helpers in front of the temple worshipping Heaven.

Then they all moved back to the main table ... 

The 爐主 (Master of the Incense Pot) was the first to pour the wine into the five glasses, then face inside the temple to pray to 大伯公 (God of Prosperity). Each of the five 頭家 (Headmen) did the same thing. Specially invited guests also repeated the same ritual. 

All six of the committee members and invited guests then repeated the whole ritual two more  times.


The offerings ....


The 爐主 (Master of the Incense Pot), five 頭家 (Headmen) and invited guest then moved to the inside of the temple to add oil to the oil lamp beside the statue of 大伯公 (God of Prosperity). 

Following that, the ritual moved back to the main altar and all the Temple Committee members  drew names of business from a box to select the new temple committee members. For example, the 爐主 (Master of the Incense Pot) will draw for the name of the next 爐主 (Master of the Incense Pot) while the five 頭家 (Headmen) will draw the next five 頭家 (Headmen). 

Each of the drawn name have to be approved by 大伯公 (God of Prosperity). This is done by throwing two kidney-shaped stones on the floor. Approval is when there is there is Yin and Yang. Otherwise, a second name will be drawn. If there is still no approval for the second name, the next committee member than takes over to select the name. This was repeated until all six committee members have been selected.

Once all the members of the new Temple Committee have been selected, the ritual is completed by burning "gold paper".

The very last part of the ritual was for the Temple Committee members to deliver gifts of food to each of the new committee members and informed them of their new roles in the temple affairs.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

壽山亭 (Shou Shan Ting) or 大伯公廟 (Da Bo Gong Temple) Part 1 Temple Celebrations

壽山亭 (Shou Shan Ting), more popularly known as  大伯公廟 (Da Bo Gong Temple), is the oldest temple in Kuching and is the Temple of the God of Prosperity.

It is believed to have been built in 1843, while the official records only recognize its existence in 1876. All these years, as they say,  the temple has been 香火不斷 (xianghuobuduan) - meaning that it has been the centre of worship for many Chinese in Kuching since it's establishment. Despite it's age, the temple is well maintained. Record showed that there were renovations to the temple dating back to 1856 though the land title was only granted by the second Sarawak Rajah, Sir Charles Brooke, on the 29th of August 1871.

The Kuching Chinese Community Charitable Trust Board is entrusted with the care of the temple and, every six months, a new committee will be "elected" to handle the day-to-days affairs of the temple, organising fund raising campaigns and  temple celebrations.

Today﹐ 二月初二 (second day of the second moon) is the Birthday Celebrations of 大伯公 and huge crowds of worshipers throng the temple with incense and various offerings.


The offerings brought by the worshipers ....



To be continued.