Tuesday, 21 June 2016

Green Dragon's anniversary

 Pic taken: 12 June 2016.

The wayang (Chinese street opera) started on the right foot -- by unscrolling a banner that said " Peace on Earth". No, it wasn't Christmas. It was June and the wayang marked the anniversary of the Green Dragon temple nearby. 

There wasn't a single soul out in the open on that hot afternoon. No audience  notwithstanding, the actors and actresses proceeded to go round the temple -- perhaps only the main players as I saw only three of them plus one holding some sort of whisk* slumped at the post of a nearby bridge (guess he was tired) -- to pay homage to the deities in the temple. 

Then, the three made their way back to the stage, met by the one with the whisk at the bridge. They took a bow to an invisible audience and unfurled the peace banner -- all to clanging cymbals and blaring wind instruments. 

After that, it was exit stage left. And there was peace as they turned in for a siesta before their real performance in the evening, hopefully for a larger audience than just me.

*BTW, a horsetail whisk was believed to have magical powers to whisk away evils. It can be used as weapon too -- you see them often enough in old Cantonese gongfu movies -- a flick of this weapon, usually used by highly skilled nuns, could send victims flying. I believe (if memory serves me right) there was such a nun in "Sin Hawk Sun Jum" (The Fairy Crane and the Magic Needle).

Pic taken: Aug, 2015. 
The Ang Chee Sia Ong (Green Dragon Temple) at West Coast Drive: A Mr Wang Dong Qing brought to Singapore the joss ash from a temple on the south bank of Hanjiang in Chaozhou, Guangdong. He eventually erected a temple at Pasir Panjang's 7th milestone (Tao Yuan Village) in the 1920s. When the area was redeveloped, it was moved to West Coast Drive, consecrated in June 1997. The temple features a Green Dragon pond, bridge (which used to spout water from two dragons when one stepped on the bridge) and fountain. Another highlight is the wall carvings depicting 24 classic examples of filial piety -- for example, story of the son staying up the whole night to serve as "food" for mosquitoes -- just so they won't attack his mother.
The legend attached to the original temple (Qing Long Gu Miao) in China, is interesting. According to this site:, green snakes were found near a temple built to honour an upright official (during the era of the Three Kingdoms). Any generals seeing a such a green snake would end up victorious in battle. Hence, the temple became known as Qing Long Miao (Green Dragon Temple). BTW, in ancient Chinese culture, serpents were more or less equated with dragons.


streetsing said...

Indeed the horsetail whisk is a favourite weapon of choice for nuns and monks in Chinese gungfu shows. In the hands of skilled exponents, causes deep lacerations on their enemies. In the hot summer can use it for swotting flies too :)

Lo Tien Yin said...

Yes, very good for swotting flies. Horse tail hair are very strong as well.