Thursday, September 15, 2005

5. Pulau Ubin Fo Shan Da Bo Gong Miao 佛山大伯公庙

As with every village or town in the old days, where there were Chinese, there will be at least a Chinese temple. So, in Pulau Ubin, off Changi Point, it is no exception. When you walk into "town" you will see a small temple, dedicated to Da Bo Gong (Tua Pek Kong in Hokkien/Teochew). This is probably the other temple in Singapore that still has a permanent "opera theatre", and is much bigger.

Each year, on 15th of 4th Lunar Month (which also happens to be Vesak Day), this temple has a celebration. According to the temple keeper (Uncle Lim), Tua Pek Kong, through a medium, said that since Ubin is covered mostly by granite rock - "Fo Shan" - he would like to emulate Buddha, by first becoming a Boddhisatva. Hence he had designated this day as the day to celebrate. Former residents of Pulau Ubin and other mainland Singaporeans flock to the temple on this day. It was said that over the weekend in 2005, more than 4000 worshippers went to the island temple.

Unknown to many, there is actually a "country" temple on top of a hillock. In this temple in a very quiet and serene "plateau", there are three statues of Tua Pek Kong. Each year, during the celebrations on Vesak Day as well as the 7th Month Hungry Ghost Festival, these three statues are invited to the "town" temple to enjoy the food and watch opera.

Ack: Taoism-Singapore Email List

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