The fire dragon of Sar Kong, in a rare reprise of the its smoking performance earlier this year, will come alive once again this September on the occasion of the 150th anniversary celebrations of the temple its lair is found in, the Mun San Fook Tuck Chee (萬山福德祠) . The temple has its origins in Sar Kong (沙崗) or “Sand Ridge, where a community of Cantonese and Hakka coolies had settled in.
The practice of parading the burning dragon has its origins in Guangdong – the origins of many in the community. Made of straw that has been imported from China, such a dragon would previously have been constructed for the feast day of the temple’s principal deity and sent in flames to the heavens. In more recent times, such straw dragons would be paraded on an average of once every three years. This particular dragon, which made for a more recent Chingay Parade, is not burnt but set alight only by the placement of joss sticks on its body.
More information on the practice, as well as the historic setting for the village and the temple, can be found in the temple’s heritage room. More on the temple and its history can also be found at the post: On Borrowed Time: Mun San Fook Tuck Chee.
Schedule for the Mun San Fook Tuck Chee 150th Anniversary Celebrations
A number of events held in conjunction with the 150th anniversary of the Mun San Fook Tuck Chee: Taoist priests from Ching Chung Koon in HK invited here to conduct rituals over 3 days, a seminar on Dabogong (Tua Pek Kong), a heritage exhibition, a book launch, and the finale – the one and only fire dragon dance in Singapore.
9 Sep 2016 (Fri)
0900-1145 Preparing ritual space
1800-1900 Opening of heritage exhibition
10 Sep 2016 (Sat)
0930-1200 Seminar and discussion on Dabogong
2000-2100 Crossing the bridge for devotees
11 Sep 2016 (Sun)
1000 Lion dance to welcome foreign visitors
1045-1145 Paying of respects by foreign visitors
1100-1400 Mid-autumn event for respecting elders in the community
1600-1730 Salvation rituals
1930 Fire dragon performance / Book launch / Exchange of souvenirs with foreign guests
Photographs from the parade of the Fire Dragon in March 2016