Andy Tang's Photo Journal

By AndyTang

There be lions here...

Today is the penultimate of the Lantern Festival, before tomorrow when in concludes with the burning of the lanterns for a blessing to the newborn baby boys.

Today we carried out the blessings to the five shrines, but with the addition of a selection of meat dishes. Whenever you carry out a blessing with meat, there also has to be wine on the blessing tray, as well as the usual tea.

When this was completed, we had to travel to the Tang Ancestral Hall for a mother blessing at to shrines, but this included the addition of congee (rice porridge). Once the blessings were complete, there was both a dragon and lion dance within the hall. When this had concluded we offered congee and a variety of meat to everyone. As we were fortunate to have a baby boy, we share our good fortune with our family, extended family and neighbours. In return most people would give a lai cie (red packet with money)as way of congratulations and gratefulness.

Later the Kat Hing Wai Pow Tau figurehead was paraded through the village and to the Tang Ancestral Hall, followed by a whole roast suckling pig, the lion dancing troop of the village, and pretty much the whole of Kat Hing Wai village. We literally stopped traffic as we walked there, which was a little hairy crossing a dual carriageway.

Once there the Pow Tau was blessed and displayed along with other eleven from the surrounding villages. Each village draws lots every year, so for example Kat Hing Wai drew number two last year, so we took back the Pow Tau from the village who commissioned that and get to draw second this year.

After a lion dance from the village who drew one last year, their representative drew and got 12. Then Kat Hing Wai's Lion Dance Troop performance an intricate piece, as you can see in the photo, not one is someone stood on the shoulders of someone else, they are also both stood on a table. Then it was time for the draw, and we drew number two. We got our own Pow Tau back, which is considered lucky and auspicious.

As aside you can see the large number of people there which made photo taking a nightmare, except an uncle ushered me to the stage where a singer was performing earlier, told the guy who was topping people from going up there that I was Wing's son, and got given pride of place on the stage to take photos! Oh the want for a better lense!

Later on this evening at 10pm there is a Pung (bowl meal) for the men of the village, within the walls of Kat Hing Wai. The families of the new born boys host the ten tables, as as there are five new boys, we host two tables each. I sense there will me beer and brandy tonight, which is bad as the Lantern Festival concludes tomorrow at 9am with the burning of the lanterns as an offering. I guess it can be done with a hangover... It was last time!

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