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.

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