Documentation Project

The main objective of the study is to document and study the history of the Nine Emperor Gods Festival. Given the fluidity and transience of practices and trends in Chinese folk religion, and the fact that there has been a lack of systematic attempts to document and study the festival in Singapore as a whole, there is an urgent need to start a digital audio-visual archive of the festival today, and to collect oral traditions and memories, photographs, film and videos, as well as records in various media formats, pertaining to the festival.

This documentation will allow us to understand the historical transformation of the Nine Emperor Gods Festival in Singapore, and its relevance and significance today, especially in terms of the people and institutions involved in the NEG festivals, both in terms of the organizers and the participants, the ritual and meaning systems, the networks of support, instruction, learning and authority underlying the festival, and the perceptions and representations of the event.  The proliferation of centers and the diversity of rituals and styles of celebration raise interesting questions with respect to different meanings, backgrounds, and perceptions of the event.

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Photo by Lee Chih Hsien

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