Once a year, the temple of Nine Emperor God in Ampang would be the most happening place as the temple and its surroundings take on a carnival celebration for nine days in a row. Joss sticks, food, people, and all sorts of colours, sounds, and smells are few of those common things to lure visitors to this auspicious and angelic celebration. Assorted stalls would invade the temple ground with fascinating riot of beautiful colours and sounds. Upon entering the temple compound, almost all stalls are selling this bun shapped like a tortoise. And they come in assorted shapes and colours as well. Not to mention some also comes with decorative items.
Next thing you would see is the joys stick. Not just any joystick but various shape designs and sizes.
Also embellishing the place is assorted colourful flowers. Many stalls also sell fresh flowers so beautifully decorating the entire place. Not to mention how the place is so pack and filled with devotees dressed in traditional white, carrying incense and candles.
Also, there are few who free the captive birds after chanting and praying. According to Wikipedia, in East Asian Buddhism and particularly in China, the release of animals, particularly birds or fish, into their natural environment became an important way of demonstrating Buddhist piety. In China it was known as fang sheng. This practice is based on a passage in the Mahāyāna Sūtra of Brahma’s Net (Ch: Fanwang Jing), which states that “…all the beings in the six paths of existence are my parents. If I should kill and eat them, it is the same as killing my own parents. … Since to be reborn into one existence after another is the permanent and unalterable law, we should teach people to release sentient beings.” In the later Ming dynasty, societies “for releasing life” were created, which built ponds in which to release fish that were redeemed from fishermen for this purpose. They also bought other animals which were sold in the markets and released them.
Apart from all these rituals, I enjoy the sculptures and decorations on the temple. On the walls, the roof, as well as those alters.
Next, moving to my favourite part of the day is all the food stalls around the temple area. There are assorted vegetarian food and noodles, juices and snacks, and cakes and desserts. Dking is here selling their famous fried frozen durian. Think fried cempedak, and this is somewhat similar to that except replacing the fruit with our very own king of fruits.
There is Mochi, Sesame ball, and Peanut pancake.
Something else that intrigues me is the Sat Kei Mah which comes in different colours. It comes in black sesame, and seaweed on top of original flavour.
Also, the fragrant of those fried cempedak instantly filled the surrounding with sweet aroma you can smell from a distance of one kilometer away.
For those main meals, there are many stalls with vegetarian food. The one thing that amazes me is the Vegetarian roasted pork. Pinch your nose and start chewing this blind folded and you would be impress with how similar the texture of the vegetarian pork is to the real roasted pork. I tried the glutinous sticky rice as well but I didn’t like it.
The rest are almost everything else it is that you could possibly think of in vegetarian dishes. This is the time when you can witness and try all those vegetarian dishes it is that’s available. This place is like a database of all vegetarian dishes.
My favourite juice of the day is the Umbra juice (kedondong) which is always refreshing and cooling. It is all pure fruit juice with no additional sugar or water. My favourite snack is the Salty steam peanuts.
This celebration last for nine days. It is believed that there will be rain throughout the nine days of celebration. Some devotees would stay at the temple; eat vegetarian meals and performing their prayer rituals and prayer chants. I supposed we have been experiencing continuous rain for the past couple of days, of which I really hope that a sunny day awaits as soon as the celebration ends.
This Kau Ong Yah temple os located at :
Jalan Merdeka, Ampang New Village,
68000 Ampang, Selangor, Malaysia
GPS Coordinates: N3 08.493 E101 45.888
The climax of the celebration is said to fall on the ninth day of the celebration. I suppose this is worth a visit.