Follow by Email

Saturday, 12 April 2014

Summons of the Soul Ritual 招魂

The Chinese called the human soul (s), Hun Po.  Hun (Chinese: 魂) and po (Chinese: 魄; ). It literally means "cloud-soul".

It is believed that each person soul is divided between  three hun souls Yang energy and seven po souls Yin energy.
Soon after death, a person's Hun being the heavenly soul returns to heaven as Shen (spirit) and may later return to Tao, while Po, the earthly soul will descend into the earth with flesh and bones, and eventually dissolved.

The hun and po could be temporarily come together after a period of being separated  through a ritual called the fu 復 "recall; return", zhaohun 招魂 "summon the hun soul".
In ancient China, the ritual of zhaohun fupo 招魂復魄 " is to summon the hun-soul to reunite with the po-soul" in the hope of bringing the dead person back to life. Should the ritual did not served their purpose, only then a person can be pronounced dead. In recent years, such soul retrieval ritual has evolved into specifically to locate the drowning victim missing body.

 You've heard it before somewhere, one of the terrifying moment is when you wake up and found yourself buried alive in a coffin.  Worst case scenario, you  had possibly been declared dead prematurely and awoke inside in a cremation oven when they are starting to cremate you.

An urban legend  states that the sayings “Saved by the bell” circulating on the Internet is allegedly resulted in a new method of burial by using a coffin with a bell to avoid accidentally buried alive while in a coma.
 Designs for coffins with warning devices, known as safety coffins.
You can ring my bell, anytime, anywhere. Ring it, ring it.

So just in case you're dead, ring a bell that was attached by a string. Sorry, Your Time Is Not Up!

 May be an option to include a cell phone for you to call from you're coffin saying.. Hey guys, hold your horses! I'm not dead. False alarm.

Just for the record, the actual meaning of “Saved by the bell” comes not from being buried alive but from a boxer who is saved from loses by way knockout or KO when the timekeeper bell sounds, signalling the end of the round.

A newly deceased person may return (回魂) to his home at some nights, sometimes one week (頭七) after his death. The 7th days is the most important day for any souls of the dead want to return home to pass dream or anything, they can only do it on the 7th day. After that, the seven po would vanish one by one  every 7 days for 49 days after death.

After 49 days, the Buddhists believe, the soul would have departed this world.” ... Chanting sutras can help the spirit to have a better afterlife”

Remember the Patrick Swayze-Demi Moore movie Ghost? When Patrick killed during a botched mugging, his ghost lingers on to protect her from dangers of which she is unaware.

The soul of the deceased person usually remains close to the place he/she lived, wander around their house and tries to follow the lifestyle he or she was used to.

It's not unusual for the dying to have visions, often of someone who has already passed on. Before my dad leave the world, he used to tell my mum that his deceased father and mom visited him last night. You may think he is hallucinating, so now we know they are the guides to greet him when he cross over.

Those who died with unfinished business become earthbound and cannot cross over till someone  helps them to find peace. Someone who dies without warning often can’t let go right away. Maybe they feel they need to get a message to a loved one before they cross over, believing that once they cross over they won't be able to enter into any communications with these people.

 Believe it or not, there are spirits wandering around out there who aren’t clear on the fact that they’ve died like untimely death. Those people who dies suddenly and unexpectedly were extremely committed to living, it could take days or even weeks to get the clue. They could end up haunting old haunts, trying to get the attention of the living and wondering why they can’t hear you. Sad isn't it?
 She Sees Dead People? Pssst!. turn your head to look behind you.
In the TV series life of Melinda Gordon, who has the  with the ability to communicate with the earthbound spirits of the recently deceased overcomes scepticism and doubt to help send their important messages to the living and allow the dead to pass on to the other side.

Souls that depart to the Spirit World get help from  a “Spirit Guide”. The majority of people usually wander around their house during the first seven days after their physical death, but when their consciousness becomes clear enough, a “spirit guide” comes to help them to making them know that they are already dead. This spirit guide could be, in an ordinary case, a close friend, an acquaintance, parents or a sibling who died earlier. I wonder what would the Spirit Guide says? Maybe something like...okay, buddy, let's be honest. You're pretty dead, let's face it... Dude, you're hanging out with us now.Follow Me Towards The Light.
At the time of crossing over, individuals are generally thrown into an initial place of darkness and then are met by a very bright light. They enter a tunnel and move through this tunnel with the assistance of loved spirits and move into an area where earth loved ones in their most current incarnation have formed ahead of them. It becomes like a large family reunion on the other side.
 If you ever find your spirit instantly severed from your body, it could take a little while to realise what’s happened. If you’re ever in a awkward situation where you feel you might be dead, try walking through a wall. If you tried but cannot walk through and bumped into the wall.. Sorry you not dead.... Please try again later.

If you can, you’re probably dead.

 Sam's ghostly form, still adjusting to the afterlife reaching for the door knob. All he need to is walk
through walls or doors.

With exception of David Copperfield who simply walked through the Great Wall in one of his tricks. How did he do the walk through the Great Wall of China magic? I don't know how he got the privilege, he's a mortal.

Watermelon – Throw into the sea ritual to find body 

When someone is believed to have died at sea sea but can't be get the corpse back, then the victim's  family may hire Taoist priests to perform  soul retrieval ritual by using a watermelon to summon the departed soul  to enter the watermelon.

It is not known why a melon was used and what supernatural power it had. Of all the fruits they may pick but why watermelon, the chosen one? Well, its answer is very simple. Watermelon does not sink in the water due to less dense than the water it is placed in. It also owing to air tight like a tyre tube it will buoy and the air that is trapped has no way to come out from it until you'd cut it. So unless you cut it or the melon cracked open, it will not sink in the water.

Another version on why a melon is used, it is most widely accepted explanation is that the spirit of the dead likes eating watermelon. Victims' family members  take advantage of an opportunity of this and use watermelons to attract the spirit.

 Juicy red flesh at the centre of a watermelon 

Watermelon chosen also due to the physical appearance of a body with  huge component of red colouring which represent the blood in the body. This is  no ordinary melon. The priest writes it with melon water inscribed with the unlucky person name.

One strange thing happen when you throw the watermelon into the water, normally it will  float on the surface of the water but the melon seems to defy all laws of science, as soon as it hit the water the watermelon sinks… I know, I know...the watermelon damage isn’t it? No, it's Not.

Strange things about to happen! A few minutes later the watermelon resurfaced and float on the water, just like a buoy marking a spot. Next, the body of a drowning victim will float up and surface at a distance close to the watermelon. This ritual doesn't guarantee instant success. It's up to the Lord of the sea to decide when to release the body, sooner or later.

What is the purpose to order the soul enter the watermelon? It is because watermelon can float on the surface of the water and by this way, the soul could find back his own corpse and allow their family to give a decent burial as well.

This  extraordinary occurrence theory is very difficult to proof it using scientific evidence. Naturally,
it met with a great deal of public scepticism since no way of proofing.  People who believe only when they've seen with their own eyes. I've not seen so I can't say whether its true or not but my fellow colleague, Yeo had seen it being performed and true to the facts.

One of the early records known account of this ritual.

Maiden Cao using a divination tool (watermelon) in her search for her father's body is a fragment of an Eastern Jin (317-420), the following details:

The filial girl Maiden Cao was the daughter of Cao Yu, a native of  Shangyu district, then only fourteen years old.  Yu drowned when he was swamped by large waves. His body was not found.

After hearing the conformation of his father's death she deeply mourning the loss of him.

 She was seen wailing hysterically for her father, Yu, crying in sorrow by the marshes.Shortly after that , she threw into the river a melon. She said to the imagined body of her father:

  "May this melon sink to the spot where my father is." Seventeen days later, the melon suddenly sank. Cao thus ended her life by throwing herself into the river and drowned.  Five days after that, her drowned body re-emerged with her father's body clasped in her arms.

Get Expert Help. This would not be a good time for DIY.

Taoist believe a recent deceased soul may return on the seventh day after death.

This priest will perform  rituals linking the heaven, earth and sea and somehow open a triangular channel of communication.

Every living being are subject to the governing authorities. People like us, we live on land. In someway we are being governed by the law of nature. In the seas there is another set of rules of its own. If someone drowns in the sea, normally the sea has the right of custody of the body. It simply exercise its jurisdiction on retain the corpse.

Before the ritual begins, Taoist set up an altar with proper offering substances such as fruits, incense, paper money etc. at the area in which they believe the victim may be found.

It is called spirits flag, the flag of the ancient attract spirits.

Now a conjuration mantra is recited while wielding a spirit flag to call upon adjacent spirits for assistance to retrieve the drown body.The Taoist seeking permission to appeal for returning a lost body says something like this, “We, human owe you an apology for disturbing your peaceful marine environment. In view of the fact that we  finding someone who is lost out there in your territory, we humbly seeking for your assistance and kind understanding to release the body belonging from our territory. We wish to express our gratitude and thanks”

When everything is ready, the Taoist will read out a passage expressing his intention to perform this ritual. After that the name and age of the deceased is called out loud.
Asking permission from Dragon King  to return the body to the world of land

 Yelled at the top of his voice sobs uncontrollably, yelling his son name O son (soul), come back!

The watermelon empowered by a Taoist priest and together with paper offerings are thrown into the sea while calling the drown person’s name to draw the attention of the lost souls who may have drowned. 
 Watermelon sinks in fast when throw into the sea, don't you dare to say, I don't believe it.

Dead body floats after 3 days

The body miraculously surfaced!

If the ritual was successful, then the body was located and recovered in the surronding area of where he was last seen. How long does the search take? There are four variants: three days, five days, fifteen days, and an instant. Provided of course, if the dragon king of the sea are willing to release the soul of the drowned.

Nobody from the Western countries would takes this ritual seriously, except for FBI Special Agents Fox Mulder (David Duchovny) and Daa Scully (Gillian Anderson) in"X-File" perhaps? 

"The Truth is Out There"

Thursday, 20 March 2014

Sunway Lagoon Theme Park Ghost House

Generally, at the end of the year most company will organise a year-end lunch or dinner for the staff but this year our company put together a company outing at Sunway Lagoon instead.
Men standing in the front row probably be drool down their shirt. Like cartoon characters the eye-popping with jaw literally drops to the floor, and his tongue unrolls like a carpet while the lovely hula girls performed.
Walking across the suspension bridge( the world's longest pedestrian suspension bridge, spanning 428m ) is not recommended for the faint-hearted but the reward  is offers you a bird eye view of the park.
A visit to Sunway Lagoon Theme Park is one of the favourite things to do especially in the hot weather. The park's latest attractions, the Vuvuzela, The World's Largest Water Ride.

The park map of Sunway Lagoon  has a huge leisure area of 139,800 square feet (13,000 square meters). Too big and may get lost,  it was formerly a tin mining area. 
If you're visiting the park  for the first time, the first and most important thing to do is to figure out where to visit first.  Study the map to to familiarise yourself with the layout of the Sunway Lagoon Theme Park before proceed because you don't want to make a mistake as not within walking distance of any theme parks.

There is 5 parks in total in the Sunway Lagoon: amusement park, extreme park. water park, animal park and scream park.

No I'm not a chicken! Bagawk. I just had my lunch. A pirate ship that can made 360° loop!

 Wildlife park was essentially a mini zoo with many exotic birds. One of them is this Indian Peacocks, males will normally only display their large and magnificent plumage  to attract attention during courtship. This is pretty much the courting days in humans male will drive a fancy car in a neighbourhood to attract gals. 

Scaring people is an art. To create an epic haunted house that people will talk about for decades, truly scaring people is hard work. Having said that it's not particularly difficult particularly especially when you're wearing a spooky costume and mask to scare the crap out of unsuspecting visitors.

I've never been into a "ghost house" of any amusement park, so what I had in my mind is those visitors will sit on electric powered two seat cars which will take you along taking the sight and sound and get a view of some of the ghost house.  I was expecting some dangling creatures from the ceiling or some mock up ghosts.

No, it's not whatever I think that will later turn out to be.

Whoops, now I feel like no longer safe anymore. I have to get out of my comfort zone and force to pay attention and alert in blackout situation. You will know that your looking for that good scare walking through their attraction by ourselves!

The maximum amount of people allowed are 20 person, a maximum of 5 people may allowed in separately at a time. If there were too many people, it may causing panicked stampedes. Visitors must adhere to verbal safety instructions, so a brief instructions will be given by the Scream park staff. We all breathed a sigh of relief when he said, "Don't worry folks, those ghost won't touch you and make sure you don't touch the ghost!". No matter how pretty or how ugly, don't touch it!  I don't think I can do this as reflex is response that we can't control.

Just to warm up the visitors, an actor made up to look like scary beings pop-up appeared out of nowhere and says, "Welcome to Scream Park!".
You guess it, now warm up your sounds for scream and shriek of "eee!". Those people who stand in front in a row of 4, suddenly don't want to be in front anymore.
Zombie promoter
The Scream Park experience begins at the Angoscia Theater of Fear. Here, you can see some clips on a large TV displaying certain events that took place in Warwick Castle which I have no interest to over indulge in. It's kind of like watching a trailer for a movie of what you're expecting to see.

The waiting is the hardest part ...Oh it's killing me not knowing what to expect.

 Many people are truly terrified of the dark, children as well as adults. We tend to pay much more attention to our hearing/ears in the dark,  as a result our minds play tricks on us in the dark.

We were then guided into a dark passage to the stairs leading down a steep corner. Watch your step, a slight mistake and you will bring all come tumbling down.

Final caution given is don't use your hand phone to take photos or video tape when you walk through and using flash would spoilt the entire spooky ambiance.

To Cut a Long Story Short. Oh, don't be a spoilsport by ruining other people's fun moments.

These were actually actors and actress portraying zombies or ghosts by putting make-up on to made up to look like scary beings, and obviously has gone through a ‘scare school’ programme to understand the psychology of fear and learn the skills of frighten the living daylights out of anybody who visits the Scream Park.

Instead of the usual high tech robotic replicating a scene from a horror movie in a theme park, the interactive scare attraction style experience will make guests feel as if they in their favourite horror movie, wandered into their worst nightmares.

The two guys in my group would like to conduct himself like a  perfect gentlemen, "A gentleman lets girls go first”. Here even to guys..Why? As we weave through maze-like paths, somewhere the ghost or zombies will  jump out at you from every corner. So that's why they pretends to be a gentleman.

Okay, let me lead the way but girls first you have to stop pulling on my shirt. Those who stand in front of his enemy will get the risk of get shot in the battle field. The same can be said of those who lead the group, they are the one who will 'protect' the group from getting the fright from sudden movement.

The actors/props will jump out and scare you with lots of scary people and zombie-types. I weave through the maze through a wall of fame exhibiting famous horror movie characters under the pulsating strobe lights and ‘GRAH!’…zombie lurking in the dark suddenly lunged for the unsuspecting visitor in front of me. In the action of a re-enactment of zombie in World War Z contained behind barbed wire.

I kept waiting for something to jump out of a corner or a wall or above. Suddenly a pretty Pontianak's in the dark, waiting to come out to pop out at me but my reaction was, "Hi I lost my way which is the direction to continue?". Sorry, but you just don't scare me or should I play along and pretending to be scare?  Can I have your number now?

Those employee in a zombie costume may encountered workplace hazards as when a person is frightened his natural instincts to protect themselves are what lead them to attack actors in horror theme park when had been scared out of their wits.

At the last stage we were given 3D glasses, visitors particularly feeling  the dizzying 3D maze, a twisting tunnel bridge that mires you in claustrophobic illusion. It seem like your mind is playing tricks on you , the tunnel is spinning while the bridge you crossing comes with handrails that allow you to walk through the perfectly safe bridge but you get a feeling of a loss of spatial awareness.

The VORTEX Tunnel is an awesome creation that fools the brain into thinking you are off balance. It is an
 Aluminium constructed  tunnel and painted pattern represent the Vortex.
There is a drive wheel/motor mechanism that rotate the tunnel you walk through. 

We have reached the end of our tour of things that go bump at night. Pocong may not too scary to look at for Westerner but the hopping pocong is terrifying to locals and Indonesians. It is an Indonesian/Malaysian ghost that is said to be the soul of a dead person trapped in its shroud.  We are expecting to see one of the Sunway pocong stationary prop to be alive but no such movement. The actor playing the ghost probably had taken a day off.

Hantu pocong are undead corpses wrapped in a white burial shroud bindings similar to the mummies of Egypt.

When people are in a dark maze, tension and fear build up to the point where your natural response is to run . Our hearts beat faster when a person is scared or excited,  make a "lub-DUPP" or "lub-DUB" sound. Adrenalin shoots through their veins, as we challenge ourselves, overcome fear and above all,  feel the rush of adrenaline!

The walk-through horror attraction at Sunway Lagoon Theme Park is certainly not for the faint-hearted. No, there  haven't got the luxury of an emergency lane to bypass the looming terror, should you decide to quit.

My personal opinion on the sunway ghost house, not so scary at all. What's my idea for a Scarier Haunted House?

1-   Would be enjoyable if using appropriate music and sound effects like spooky organ music or Michael Jackson's song Thriller evil laughter motion activated by motion sensor presence.
2-  Create a spooky atmosphere by using lighting effects for your haunt, mixing primary red, blue, and green lights.
3- Just a simple rocking chair creaking softly as it moved back and forth without anyone sitting in a chair gives me the chills.
4-  Mimicking ghost that crawls out of the TV in the movie 'The Grudge'
5- A lot of smoke or fog in the haunted attractions to set the mood.
6- To make one that is spooky, you'll need more haunted house props. Even cheap skeletons with glowing eyes, it gives you goosebumps.

Having said that about not scary, one of my fellow colleagues was terrified by the interactive walk-through experience. She's been been excited about it, but now that after exiting the building she's nervous and sobbing, at the end had a complete nervous breakdown and  just started crying like a little baby.

I'm so surprised by her reaction, she was brought to tears out of fear. I didn't see it coming at all. Despite her tough appearance, she turned out to be an exceptional timid personality.  Like The Old Saying Goes, Tough on the outside, soft on the inside.

She was brought into the first aid clinic but no medication use for treatment. I am not sure whether they have treated person with an anxiety disorder before or post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) that may develop after a person has experience a traumatic event of shock. She probably had nightmare, bad dream, whatever you want to call it tonight, being tormented by a clawed killer in her dreams named Freddy Krueger.

There is one thing you should you do after you leaving the fake Haunted House. Make sure the real spirit did not tag along or follow you back to haunt in your home!

Saturday, 8 March 2014

Beating 'petty people' or Da Siu Yan (打小人)

The petty people-hitting ceremony, or da siu yan, is an ancient custom dates back to the Tang Dynasty (618-907). This ritual is relatively short in duration but nevertheless quite interesting.

This custom can be traced back to the Tang Dynasty (618-907).

What is Jingzhe 驚蟄?

The ancient Chinese had divided the year into 24 Solar Terms. These solar terms have matches a particular astronomical event or signifies some natural phenomenon.

Jingzhe  is the third of 24 solar terms in the Chinese lunar calendar, and comes in the month of March 5, 6 or 7 of each year. This indicate the awakening of hibernating insects and animals. The best day for 2014 to perform this ritual is said to be the six day of the second month in the Chinese Lunar Year or  6/03/2014. It refers to the day when the Sun is at a celestial longitude of 345 degrees.

The farmers would calculate the most suitable time by referring the Chinese Almanac, it has been of great importance to the people of the Orient since ancient times.
 Even today, Chinese throughout the ages still consulted the Tung Shing to inform their decisions on when is the best time of the day. Farmers would eagerly offer up his gift on the altar at the altar and prayer can be prayed to rid of their enemies or anything that would hold them back from reaping the fruits of reward.

According to legend, a mythical white tiger will open its mouth on that day and is at its hungriest which is also the day of insects  are awaken.

In the ancient days at the end of winter during Jingzhe, temperature is likely to get warmer. The traditional culture said that, thunderstorms would awake the hibernated insects and animals.  It was customary in order to repel hatching insects or animals, those folk burn incense and mug wort.

Over time this tradition has evolved into da siu yan or beating petty little people which is belief you will be protected from harm by using an old, worn-out shoe to hit the "petty persons".

The so-called "petty persons" may assume the form of ghosts or evil spirits that exercise supernatural power to harm on people, or they may be human beings i.e. trouble-makers, rumour-mongers, gossipers, and busy bodies. Literally translated, the Cantonese term “siu yan” (小人) is “little people”.

This ritual  ritual can be performed all year round, however the best time of year is this period during Jingzhe. The ceremony is usually performed at a crossroad, under a bridge, road-side, street corner, or near a hill as they say evil spirits linger in dark places.
Villain hitting is often done in gloomy places such as somewhere under a flyover.

Doing a brisk business during Jingzhe.

The custom of making offerings to the White Tiger (祭白虎) and Da Siu Yan (打小人) or beating petty little people was originated from folk religion in Guangdong Province(Canton). This culture was later expanded by those migrated to Hong Kong, Macau, Singapore and Malaysia.

In the beginning of those days, it was mostly carry out by the Cantonese group only. As times goes by,other Chinese dialect groups followed this practise, as well.

If there is something strange in the neighbourhood,  Who can you call? Ghostbusters! but if you are suffering a spate of bad luck lately or everything seems to go wrong. Who you gonna call? No.. not Ghostbuster but you can engage a wu 巫 "spirit medium( shaman) who are usually old ladies and known as “bai shen po” (拜神婆), meaning old ladies who are paid to pray for others.

Often done in gloomy places such as somewhere under somewhere under an overpass. In Hong Kong, Ngo Keng Kiu, or Canal Road Flyover, between Causeway Bay and Wan Chai  is the most popular place for this activity. 

She performs the ritual on request from aggrieved parties. Those came for help because of several reasons, maybe they encounter health problems or family problems that they cannot cope with and feel trapped and hopeless. When they had suffered a spell of bad luck which they believed is the result from ill-will by others. As a last resort, they turn to religious ritual of "da siu yan" for alternative treatment.

Science cannot provide answers on how to reverse ones fortune by pushing away bad luck , magic follows no rules at all, therefore science will never be able to explain it.

The Jingzhe ritual, therefore, entails Zae Baak Fu and Da Siu Yan.

Beating petty little people can be just cursing generally or curse someone, specifically. Some people reckon that cursing generally is more effective as it covers whoever is trying to harm you, including those you are not aware of.

The Ritual of Sacrifice to Bái Hǔ and Da Siu Yan

The ritual is not complex. Certain steps need to be strictly adhered to make a ritual successful, however.

Jingzhe is also the day of the White Tiger opening its mouth (白虎开口日). There is the traditional belief that the White Tiger will be looking for prey on Jingzhe, as well as opening its mouth to bite people.

Devotees pay homage to the White Tiger deity shall not Address him as Bai Hu Ye (白虎爺), this form of tittle can be considered disrespectful. The correct or proper way we shall address him as Bi Hu Ye (碧虎爺) or “Tiger Master” , in Hokkien is Pit Hor Ya (not Pak Hor Ya).

Report (稟告):The ritual itself comprises several steps. Both the “villain hitters” and their clients must worship deities at the shrines. The medium then asks the gender identity of the petty persons whom the aggrieved wants to punish. Villain paper can also replaced by other forms such as man villain paper, woman villain paper, five ghost paper etc. Put down the name and the client birth date on the Fu or paper talisman (符籙). What if there was no specific “villain" in mind, otherwise, a “general villain” is used. (This is a group of people may  be harmful to the client)

The ceremony will commence with a pair of red candles and three joss sticks are lit. Spirit medium perform her prayers and then make fruit offerings to the two gods Sun Wukong [also known as the Monkey King] and Guanyin [one of the four goddesses in Chinese Buddhism] placed in a open-ended red cabinet.

Sacrifice to Bái Hǔ (祭白虎): A sacrifice of food or money is to appease or maintain favour with to the white tiger deity Bi Hǔ, so that he does not inflict physical harm upon the beater.
A yellow paper tiger is use to depict deity, there are black stripes on the paper tiger with set of protruding front teeth in its mouth.

The paper White Tiger has to be feed by brushed it on a piece of pork fat, symbolise feeding the tiger.
The purpose is to seal the mouth of the White Tiger to prevent it from doing any harm on the aggrieved again. When it is full, it will not hurt people.
Eggs are used to rub the tiger's mouth

'Feed Me!!' - Tiger has to be feed by brushed it on a piece of pork fat

Villain hitting (打小人):After praying, she will place the petty people paper figure on the brick and uses an old shoe or shoe of clients to hit on it or hurt the petty people paper while chanting canticles.
 Hit or hurt the villain paper. True Believers say the ritual can help to drive away evil spirits in general, or a particular adversary such as a despise neighbour, a business competitor or a love rival.

Wu Gui, the "Five Ghosts"—It brings betrayal, gossip, rumours, backstabbing, the presence of petty people, and even subterfuge or sabotage. Wu Gui can also cause disloyalty and discord among family members.

Fresh eggs and tofu bean curd are often part of the offerings made.

The paper figure will then be placed near the mouth of the paper tiger, signifying the “little people” being bitten in the tiger’s mouth and hence unable to do any more harm. These two items will be burned together with the Five-devil paper.

Reconciliation (化解):

Pray for blessings (祈福):Use a red Gui Ren paper to pray for blessings and help from Gui Ren. (noblemen or people who save us from hopeless situation)
Treasure Burning (進寶):Burn the paper-made-treasure to worship the spirits。
Zhi Jiao (擲筊) (or so-called "cup hitting" [打杯]):Zhi Jiao, to cast two crescent-shaped wooden piece to undergo the Zhi Jiao ceremony.
 After paying tributes to gods like “Guan Yin” or the “Goddess of Mercy” and “Sun Wukong” - the “Monkey King”, the hitter makes circles around the client’s head with the burning tiger effigy and throws it into a fire.

At  the end of the ritual, the final step involves the tossing of jiaobei to confirm whether the “little people” has or have been eliminated.  The “villain hitter” casts two kidney-shaped divination blocks, known as “sheng bei” on the ground. One must be flipped over, and the other down, to signify that the “villains” have been cursed.
The divination procedure has to be repeated until a positive ‘yes’ reply is obtained.The whole ceremony will end with the customer thanking the Goddess of Mercy.

After some chanting, the good-luck charms will also be burned.The bai shen po will then scatter the green beans and rice grains in different directions to represent the dispersing of her customer’s “petty little people”

Need to get God's blessings. Confirmation is the best way to verify that the message you have received is from God.

Jiaobei blocks or moon blocks (筊杯, jiǎo bēi, lit. "bamboo cups") are wooden divination tools originating from China, which are used in pairs and thrown to answer a yes or no question.

If you are in need of prayer, please post your request, does not, of itself, determine whether or not God hears us.

It is one of the more commonly used items found in Chinese traditional religion and are used in temples and home shrines along with fortune sticks, both of which are often used together when requesting an answer from the gods. four possible answers that the jiaobei blocks can produce:

Shèngjiǎo (聖筊, divine answer): One block flat and another block round is a 'yes' answer.

Nùjiǎo (怒筊, angry answer) also kūjiao (哭筊, crying answer): Both blocks round says 'no' answer. It is said that the gods are annoyed by the question, and is display in the way the blocks directly fall flat on the floor.


Xiàojiǎo (笑筊, laughing answer): Both blocks flat have different explanations; either it can be an highlight 'no' is the answer and a indication that the gods are laughing at the dumb question, or that they are laughing because the seeker knows the answer to his or her question. One typical of this answer is when the blocks rocking back and forth when dropped, a suggestive show of laughter...."haha, I'm so rolling on the floor laughing"

Lìjiǎo (立筊, standing answer): One or both blocks fall but stand erect on the floor point out that the deities do not perceive the intended meaning, therefore the question is void and the method must be recurring.

It would be easier if  she could just flip or toss a coin, it will come up a head or a tail. If its Heads: Yes, If its Tails: No.

 Many people misunderstand the meaning of the practise as a move to curse the enemies so that bad luck would befall them. Those worshippers of voodoo during services casting evil spells to bring total chaos to your enemies or someone you hate.

Otherwise, Da Siu Yan (打小人) ritual will not actually hurt your enemy unlike voodoo, Its purpose is to bless someone with good luck, good fortune and good health. Also is a great form of stress relief, and that's no joke!

When  ceremony is performed at the temple, the last thing to do is get your Chinese "guardian Angel" , glue that holds them together and paste them as high as possible on a designated wall. The higher you able to place it on the wall, increase your chance of getting aspiration.

 Kway Yan Lok Mah (2 effigies depict your guardian angel riding on a green horse that will take you higher to your aspirations). 

Tales of the Dark 1 (迷离夜) is a 2013 Hong Kong movie with trilogy of shorts in the horror anthology. 

My favourite of part is the last film, "Jing Zhe" by Fruit Chan. On  a spooky night, the ghost of a young woman walks down this street late at night near the area with only a single shoe where an an elderly woman earns a living by chanting and to constantly beating a paper effigy with a shoe.
As the story unfolds it develops and become known who are the identities of the four people - three men and a woman, (her 'petty people' ) she asked 'villian hitter' to curse on.The female apparition who appeared from nowhere seeking retribution on her wrongdoers.

Actresses Dada Chen and Siu Yam Yam (above) are believable as a sad ghost and granny who practises folk sorcery.

Frenzied shoe hitting ensues, first at the hands of the old woman and then at the hands of the vengeful spirit.

Would it be cool to have a Chinese rap song like…

I  Told You Villain Don't You Ever Come Around Here
Don't Wanna See Your Evil Face, You Better Fast Disappear
Or I’ll Beat you, you with my old smelly shoe..Beat it, beat it, beat it

and I’ll wrap the sheet with a paper tiger and burn you into flames.. Beat it, beat it, beat it

My Words Are Really Clear, I beat you till you have no air left to breath.
So Beat It, Just Beat It.
You Better Run fast , You Better Do What Say.. or else I Beat it, beat it, beat it

My friend, Heng talks about his friend true experience with Da Siu Yan. ... share this story ...

When it comes to dealing with a malicious co-worker, some of us prefer to go head to head for confrontation, while others try to keep a philosophical method. Believing in Da Siu Yan folk sorcery, he go to “bai shen po” (拜神婆)" for help. Rather than get into a physical fight he sought her services to release anger and stress.

OK, who put a Chinese Voodoo curse on me? 
The next day, his enemy the co-worker went to work with an injury on his face. He explained to some of friends that he has no idea how but when he woke up with a swollen lip.

He was puzzled how his spell of 'Da Siu Yan' on his adversary really work? Perhaps it's was just simply a coincident, or perhaps not so ! ..

Saturday, 1 March 2014

Day trip to Tanjung Sepat - CNY 2014

I planned a fun trip so that we are able to travel together and enjoy a wonderful vacation as a family. This Chinese New Year giving me an opportunity to 'kill two birds with one stone' so to speak. We were able to visit Tanjung Sepat for the first time and later attended the FGS Dong Zen Temple CNY Lantern & Floral Festival in the late evening.

This is how I planned this holiday road trip..

We drove all the way from Seremban before reaching the small but vibrant community that sits quietly behind the main road. Tanjung Sepat is located at the south west of the State of Selangor in the district of Kuala Langat, along the Strait of Malacca.

This small fishing village have a population of about 10,000 and 6,000 of them are elderly, younger folks tend to migrate to a vibrant lifestyle with big city.  
Chinese formed the majority at 90 per cent of the resident. Most of the older homes had a signboard in bold characters hanging above the entrance with Han surname. The top three surnames family names are Lim, Chia and Tan.

After spending a day here, we will make our way to Banting and check into a hotel. In the evening we will proceed to Jenjarom for the annual fiesta.

The religious fishermen built many Taoist temples in the small village. In Taiwan Ma-tsu, is the Chinese goddess of the sea who is said to protect fishermen and sailors.  

In Portugal, Italy, France and Spain, St. Anthony is the patron saint of sailors and fishermen. So you see, it was necessary for most fishermen to have religious faith. Faced with volatile and uncertain weather and catch, they have a tendency to worship traditional deities or saints, hoping that religious ritual will provide to secure safe passage of your loved one to almost any destination.

A temple is dedicated to God of Thunder 

No, not Norse god of thunder nor  Zeus Greek mythology god of thunder but Lei Kung. 雷公  is
 the Chinese god of Thunder and Retribution
He is a fearsome God with claws, bat wings, and a blue face with a bird's beak who wears only a loincloth.
Like his counterpart Thor, Lei Kung holds a hammer but  in the other hand also carrying the chisel makes thunder by hammered the drum and the chisel to send lightning-bolts. Behold ! the wrongdoers, Lei Kung will use thunder as a instrument that Heaven used in order to punish evil-doers.

Our first stop was the famous Hai Yew Heng's Pau Shop (海友兴包点)

I always wonder, what's so unusual about Hai Yew Heng pau?  Many bloggers recommended readers not to missed out on Hai Yew Heng's Chinese steamed buns (pau). To the best of our knowledge, we were led to believe their pau were tasty and popular, and expect long queue lines  will be sold out within hours.

When I reach there there is no long queue because it had closed. This may due to on this day- Chap Goh Meh (the 15th night of Chinese New Year), local people will eat purely vegetarian foods to purify and cleanse out their body. 

On second look, the shop owner was on the opposite of another shop, he came over and we may select any flavour of pau we like. During peak season, each person can only order 5 pieces of buns, he corrected me not 5 pieces but 3 pieces.

Hey... you look familiar, wait a minute, you re that person on the 'wanted' poster!!!

Their famous pau or top selling buns is the Meat pau and Mui choy pau. Nothing against the shop but for me overall it's just seemed like a regular bun except they makes them lighter and fluffier. You can say these buns taste better the stuffing. Don't get me wrong - it's good but not outstanding, its just that not the best bun I've ever had. Maybe even though became famous, someone has to take the responsible of quality assurance and bring new innovation and creativity to sustain highest standards of excellence.

 Let's just say his reputation precedes him. 

He bought another shop, named “Chip Seng” and partnered in two more shops. Live up to his name “Pau Sang Pau Hoi"
A fish ball seller on bicycle pester my mom to buy the product from him. She somewhat reluctantly to buy initially, told him we are tourist so it’s inconvenient for us to take back to our home and cook but the man says, No problem with the fish ball as its ready-to-eat cooked foods. Clever marketing ploy from the local vendor. Surely this ready-to-eat fish ball packaging customised to suit the visitors.

How much?  He was selling at RM5 per packet. The first thing that surprised me was why the fish balls not the usual rounded one but it shape one end rounded while the other pointed round. The fish ball have an elastic (bouncy) and fluffy texture. Probably if I throw on the floor it will bounce up like a ping pong ball, in a manner of speaking.
The famous icon of the town is the Lover's Bridge (情人桥) which is actually a jetty but why the local called it a bridge? I reckon the reason is lost in translation. Tanjung Sepat Lover's Bridge - starts with concrete but if you go further the rest of jetty made of wood,  which span 100m across the Strait of Malacca (Melaka).
Like the rest of the world, the jetty purpose is for the fishing boat anchored to the jetty and bring in the day's catch.

On 25th June 2013 the jetty on the background - Tanjung Sepat ( 情人橋)collapsed .
The Tanjong Sepat state assemblyman and a village head were injured when they fell from the popular 100m “Lovers Jetty” that collapsed.  Fortunately, it was low tide at the time. Both fell onto the sand below while inspecting the shaky bridge at the time of the collapse. It seemingly called by the nickname due to a favourite evening spot for courting couples to enjoy the sun­set. Perhaps now it should renamed to 'parting bridge' due to its nature, for couples to announce their break-up?

How did the name Lover's Bridge get stuck? Some says that it happened a long time ago.

Before embarking on a fishing trip, their wives will accompany them to the jetty to bid them farewell and wish them a safe return of them. As the ship sails and their spouse stand watching till the ship fades on the horizon.Later that evening often their partners patiently waiting for the boats to return with their catch. The two stopped at the jetty and watch the sun say goodbye to yet another lovely day.

The couple share a quiet moment alone to watch the romantic sunset say goodnight to the sun.
Times have changed, in the old days the idea of going on a date by a stroll in a park or watching sunset would be an ideal place for a romantic walk. This “old-fashioned” concept can only be seen in the old movies of yesteryear as the trouble with young couples today methods of communication are becoming more impersonal using iPhone or iPad than face-to-face interaction.  

Hey I could be wrong, you can still see there’s still couples courting at the jetty but I wouldn’t recommend the idea when two in a really bad mood swing as people may or may not say what they mean in a really heated argument. One thing leads to another, jumping off the bridge might be the cause of those spur-of-the-moment things and usually isn't planned. 

How about if I make up a story about Lovers Bridge? .. This was just for fun

A long time ago, there lived a young couple who yearning to get married and live happily ever. Unfortunately the boy was poor but he was determined to marry his girlfriend, whom he had known since childhood. He work hard, working on a multiple job to save enough for marriage and postpone his proposal until he can afford a proper engagement diamond ring. He saw a sign for crew hand is needed to work in the rough sea conditions, obviously you'll find involve risk will lead to better pay.

 A storm appear out of nowhere.  The wave was reported to be at least 50 feet (15 m) high, struck the boat and broke the mast. The unfortunate Tony got knocked on the head bleeding profusely. 

When they pulled him out of from the wreck, all he could say..
Tell Lana I love her
Tell Lana I need her
Tell Lana I may be late
I've something to do, that cannot wait

Lana was devastated and refusing to accept the news of his tragic demise. She never got over his death, never stopped missing him.
There has never been a day went without her fails to show up & wait at the at jetty, hope for a miracle to appear. As always when the daylight fades her hopes turn from hope into despair. She felt that she had nothing to live for without him.

At the jetty is where their most romantic place for the couple most happiest moment together, watching the sun goes down as the sun says goodnight to the mountains and the night says hello to the dawn. They were so very much in love.

Both like to profess their true feelings of love towards each other using love song means and maybe they will have one or two as their own. All they had to do was replace the names and sang the very beautiful rendition of the song.

One day she was never seen again, her mysterious disappearance ...  no one knows what happened to her.

At the jetty when it was late evening at the jetty, many often heard a voice in the dark said...

Tell Tony I love him
Tell Tony I miss him
Tell him though I may try
My love for him will never die

Wouldn't you stop and take a look at this place, if it was you?

Hold the horses, what we’ve got here! As we we go past this shop, I was wondering what do we have here? Is it a museum or souvenirs shop?  The gimmick behind this is pretty darn clever as I say stop the car and explore the surrounding. 
At the front of the shop, it looked more like a museum than a shop. You got my attention, you got my attention attention to wanted to look see. Even more fascinating tour awaits visitors at the back of the shop.

There are 3 in one options of what you can do here, you can buy gifts for relatives and friends, a short tour to the Museum alike object and taking delightful photo sessions outdoor with plenty of props that  create a beautiful natural scenery. Bravo to the owner, this is a great marketing strategy that attract more and more visitors to Tanjung Sepat and his shop.

Qingren Qiao Local Product Shop
No. 25-A, Jalan Senangin, Taman Tanjong
42800 Tanjung Sepat

Check it out! Childhood favourites - malt sugar and ting ting candy! I used to love this in the past although i would prefer the traditional type directly twirled from a pot of thick and brown concoction!

Those who grew up here in the '50s will remember the classic sweets called Ting-Ting Tang ( 叮叮糖). The candy seller 'breaking' the molten malt with chisel and hammer into shards. It got its name through the sound is produced when the malt is struck with hammer. 'Ting, ting, ting' was the sound heard from afar.

  So many things, what to buy for relatives? The souvenir shop is located just before the bridge.

You will not miss this shop with the unique display outdoor, even though the signboard a little high for us to read.  Biscuits, shells, dried prawns, dried anchovies, salted fish and other seafood products are available here.
There are also some interesting things like these photos.
A Cairo newspaper claims the mermaid was caught in the Red Sea off Yemen. 

Here’s the  bizarre 'mermaid' discovered you’ve ever seen – a “mermaid” with a fish’s head and the hips and legs of a fully-developed woman. Its got fake written all over it.

As can be seen from the above image of this report,  what we're observing is a truly sensational photograph of what can indeed be described as a mermaid, but, something that is different in stark contrast to the standard stereotype of a mermaid, the other way around of the upper half of a fish with the lower half (legs) of a woman. The fact that you see is an obvious fake but why many people are duped into thinking its fact? That's where I WANT TO BELIEVE went dead wrong.

The standard mermaid does not show how she able to breathe underwater, while the mermaid from Cairo seems awkward to move in the water without fin. We don't need scientists to say there is no such thing as mermaids.  I do not believe in Mermaids, no such thing ever but I do believe in Angels, Demons, God, Jesus, and those kinds of "supernatural" things. Alright don't called me a hypocrite.

Mr. Simon Yam was among the many famous VIP visited the Qingren Qiao Local Products Shop

Warning! Do not put your hand into the jar,  any injury or liability, we shall only subject to pay the amount of RM10

What have we here, this playful beaver chases the rolling ball! Is it alive?

 Ladies and gentlemen I have been punked!

Why not the owner of the costumes rent it out to tourist for photo shot?

 This photo vividly reminds me of the scene in P Ramlee's "Do Re Mi"

God of Fortune giving out wealth in form of Chinese gold ingot,  I'm sorry I have no small change.
Ji lee remind Choy San Yeh, "There are two of us here"

Move 'em out, head 'em up: Rawhide

Take the time you need when learning riding your bicycle.  Slow and steady pace.

No, I'm not at the “Little Children on a Bicycle” Mural, Armenian Street, George Town, Penang

 Lighten up mister. Why so serious? How can I be relaxed? You're new here. Don’t you know I am Justice Pao the one who has many cases to oversee and stood up against corruption? OIC

Flour mill stone  

An old fashioned stone mill working with wet rice making rice flour at home.  My grandma used to have this at her house.

Honey today Valentine's Day, let me help you with ironing. Wow, so heavy is that how you build your muscles?

There is no historical mention on when this practise of ironing to press the clothes smooth started. Earliest records do show the existence of the Chinese using hot metal to press clothes almost a couple of centuries ago. 

An antique iron is one that is definitely made of cast iron. The iron was traditionally heated with the help of an open flame or heated charcoals and used for pressing clothes. You need to really be careful with this iron can easily burned hole in the shirt or worst, you'll be scarred for life.

Konichiwa Ji Lee-San!

Want to go on a cruise with my sampan?

What's the house speciality? Just look up!

Fried crab with "mee hoon" or rice vermicelli

You can select a  row of seafood restaurants facing the sea, that you can take your dinner or lunch. All located near the partially collapsed Lover's bridge.

Namely, the Lover's Bridge Restaurant, Ocean Seafood and Ban Joo Hing. I choose Ban Joo Hing restaurant due to plenty of parking and there is a lot of shade provided by the large trees.

At the BJH Restaurant, we tried the some famous dishes that include the mee hoon fried with crabs, oyster omelette and fish ball noodles. They were generous with the oysters, in comparison with Malacca counterpart which is quite stingy with their portion.

Tanjung Sepat is a good place spending time with family during the holiday season or weekend. Here you can find fresh, affordable and delicious seafood. Those three restaurant by the seaside is always packed, and it's no wonder.

The only thing that disappointed me is why there is no emphasis on clean modern toilet?
Oh my goodness these toilet is like travel back in time, during my grandfather period when great taste is the first and foremost priority and cleanliness take a back seat.

With the revenue tourism brings in each year, I am sure they can afford to build a new ultra modern toilet facilities? Sigh, how to bring foreign visitors to this place?  I feel shameful when they needed to use the toilet.

Isn’t it pitiful?

My niece says one visit is enough. Her mom replied, "Speak for yourself!". She obviously wants to taste some more of the really good seafood and explore the naturally interesting surroundings. Yes, of guessed it, watched a beautiful sunset!  An overnight stay, perhaps on my next visit.

Ending this visit with Arnold Schwarzenegger catchphrase “I'll be back” and this time my two other nieces will follow, that's for sure.