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Sunday, April 18, 2010

Thanksgiving ceremony held at Ngee Ann City

From 16th to 18th April, there was a Teochew-Taoist Thanksgiving and Sutra ceremony organised by Ngee Ann Kongsi, the landlord of Ngee Ann City/Takashimaya shopping mall right at the heart of Orchard Road.  This colourful ceremony is held every year over what used to be a huge Teochew cemetery in the area, before it was converted into a fashionable mall.  In fact, I heard some said years ago that the complex, when viewed from its monumental civic plaza, resembles a traditional Taoist grave, and that a room at the back of the basement level contains the door way to the underworld.  It was claimed that the room is only opened occasionally and one can often hear strange noises there late at night.  Whatever it is, the thanksgiving ceremony and the numerous colourful decoration and sacrificial offerings are a feast for the eyes, and certainly something the Tourism Board should highlight to tourists.  There were also two huge paper boats that would be burned at the final night as offerings to the dead.

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